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• series and system of acts. When they to the mismanagement of the East India com know that they cannot be whispered out of pany, have already taken a million from that their duty, that their public conduct cannot fund by the non-payment of duties. The bills be censured without a public discussion ; that drawn upon the company, which are about the schemes which they have begun will not four millions, cannot be accepted without the be committed to those who will have an in- consent of the treasury. terest and credit in defeating and disgracing The treasury, acting under a parliamentary them; then we may entertain hopes. The trust and authority, pledges the public for tenure is for four years, or during their good be- these millions. If they pledge the public, the haviour. That good behaviour is as long as public must have a security in its hands for they are true to the principles of the bill; and the management of this interest, or the na the judgment is in either house of parliament. tional credit is gone. For otherwise it is This is the tenure of your judges ; and not only the East India company, which is a the valuable principle of the bill is to make a great interest, that is undone, but, clinging to judicial administration for India. It is to give the security of all your funds, it drags down confidence in the execution of a duty, which the rest, and the whole fabric perishes in one requires as much perseverance and fortitude as ruin. If this bill does not provide a direction can fall to the lot of any that is born of woman. of integrity and of ability competent to that
As to the gain by party, from the right trust, the objection is fatal. If it does, pub. honourable gentleman's bill, let it be shewn, lic credit must depend on the support of the that this supposed party advantage is perni- bill. cious to its object, and the objection is of It has been said, if you violate this charter, weight; but until this is done, and this has not what security has the charter of the bank, in becn attempted, I shall consider the sole obe which public credit is so deeply concerned, jection, from its tendency to promote the and even the charter of London, in which the interest of a party, as altogether contemptible. rights of so many subjects are involved? I The kingdom is divided into parties, and it answer, In the like case they have no security ever has been so divided, and it ever will be so at all-No-no security at all. Jf the bank divided; and if no system for relieving the should, by every species of mismanagement, subjects of this kingdom from oppression, and fall into a state similar to that of the East snatching its affairs from ruin, can be adop- India company; if it should be oppressed with ted until it is demonstrated that no party can demands it could not answer, engagements derive an advantage from it, no good can ever which it could not perform, and with bills for be done in this country. If party is to derive which it could not procure payment; no char. an advantage from the reform of India, (which ter should protect the mismanagement froin is more than I know, or believe,) it ought to be correction, and such public grievances from that party which alone, in this kingdom, has redress. If the city of London had the means its reputation, nay its very being, pledged to and will of destroying an empire, and of cruelthe protection and preservation of that partly oppressing and tyrannizing over millions of of the empire. Great fear is expressed, that men as good as themselves, the charter of the commissioners named in this bill will shew the city of London should prove no sanction some regard to a minister out of place. To to such tyranny and such oppression. Charmen made like the objectors, this must appear ters are kept, when their purposes are main criminal. Let it however be remembered by tained: they are violated, when the privilego others, that if the commissioners should be is supported against its end and its object. his friends, they cannot be his slaves. But Now, Sir, I have finished all I proposed to dependents are not in a condition to adhere to say, as my reasons for giving my vote to this friends, nor to principles, nor to any uniform bili. If I am wrong, it is not for want of pains line of conduct. They may begin censors, to know what is right. This pledge, at least, and be obliged to end accomplices. They of my rectitude I have given to my country, may be even put under the direction of those And now, having done my duty to ihe bill, whom they were appointed to punish. let me say a word to the author. I should
The fourth, and last objection is, That the leave him to his own noble sentiments, if the bill will hurt public credit. I do not know unworthy and illiberal language with which he whether this requires an answer. But if it has been treated, beyond all example of par. does, look to your foundations. The sinking liamentary liberty, did not make a few words fund is the pillar of crodit in this country; and necessary; not so much in justice to him, as 'et it not be forgot, that the distresses, owing to my own feelings. I must say then, that i.
will be a distinction honourable to the age, that secures the rice in Jis pot to every man in the rescue of the greatest number of the human India. A poet of antiquity thought it one of race that ever were so grievously oppressed, the first distinctions to a prince whom he from the greatest tyranny that was ever exer- meant to celebrate, that through a long suocised, has fallen to the lot of abilities and cession of generations, he had been the prodispositions equal to the task ; that it has genitor of an able and virtuous citizen, who, fallen to one who has the enlargement to com- by force of the arts of peace, had corrected prehend, the spirit to undertake, and the elo
governments of oppression, and suppresser! quence to support, so great a measure of ha. wars of rapine. zardous benevolence. His spirit is not owing Indole proh quanta juvenis, quantumque daturus to his ignorance of the state of me. and
Ausonio populis, ventura in sæcula civem. things; he well knows what snares are spread me super Gangem, super exauditus et Indos, about his path, from personal animosity, from
Implebit terras voce; et furialia bella
Fulmine compescet linguæ.court intrigues, and possibly from popular delusion. But he has put to hazard his case, This was what was said of the predecessor of his security, his interest, his power, even his the only person to whose eloquence it does not darling popularity, for the benefit of a people wrong that of the mover of this bill to be comwhom he has never seen. This is the road pared. But the Ganges and the Indus are the that all heroes have trod before him. He is patrimony of the fame of my honourable friend, traduced and abused for his supposed motives. and not of Cicero. I confess, I anticipate He will remember, that obloquy is a necessary with joy the reward of those, whose whole ingredient in the composition of all true glory: consequence, power, and authority, exist only he will remember, that it was not only in the for the benefit of mankind ; and carry my Roman customs, but it is in the nature and mind to all the people, and all the names and constitution of things, that calumny and abuse descriptions, that, relieved by this bill, will are essential parts of triumph. These thoughts bless the labours of this parliament, and the will support a mind, which only exists for ho- confidence which the best house of commons nour, under the burthen of temporary reproach. has given to him who the best deserves it. He is doing indeed a great good; such as The little cavils of party will not be heard, rarely falls to the lot, and almost as rarely where freedom and happiness will be felt. coincides with the desires of any man. Let There is not a tongue, a nation, or religion him use his time. Let him give the whole in India, which will not bless the presiding length of the reins to his benevolence. He is care and manly beneficence of this house, and now on a great eminence, where the eyes of of him who proposes to you this great work. mankind are turned to him. He may live Your names will never be separated before long, he may do much. But here is the the throne of the Divine Goodness, in whatsummit. He never can exceed what he does ever language, or with whatever rites, pardon this day.
is asked for sin, and reward for those who imiHe has faults ; but they are faults that, tate the Godhead in his universal bounty to though they may in a small degree tarnish the his creatures. These honours you deserve, lustro, and sometimes impede the march of and they will surely be paid, when all the his abilities, have nothing in them to extin- jargon of influence, and party, and patronage, guish the fire of great virtues. In those faults, are swept into oblivion. there is no mixture of deceit, of hypocrisy, of I have spoken what I think, and what I pride, of ferocity, of complexional despotism, feel, of the mover of this bill. An honourable or want of feeling for the distresses of mankind. friend of mine, speaking of his merits, was His are faults which might exist in a de- charged with having made a studied panegyscendant of Henry the Fourth of France, as ric. I don't know what his was. Mine, I they did exist in that father of his country. am sure, is a studied panegyric; the fruit of Henry the Fourth wished that he might live much meditation; the result of the observato see a fowl in the pot of every peasant in his tion of near twenty years. For my own part, kingdom. That sentiment of homely benevo- I am happy that I have lived to see this day: lence was worth all the splendid sayings that I feel myself overpaid for the labours of eighare recorded of kings. But he wished perhaps teen years, when, at this late period, I am for more than could be obtained, and the good able to take my share, by one humble vote, ic ness of the man exceeded the power of the destroying a tyranny that exists to the dis king. But this gentleman, a subject, may grace of this nation, and the destruction of no this day say this at least, with truth, that he large a part of the human species.
TO HIS MAJESTY , MOVED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, BY THE RIGHT HON. EDMUND BURKE, AND SECONDED BY WILLIAM WINDHAM, ESQ. ON MONDAY, JUNE 14, 1784, AND NEGATIVED.WITH A PREFACE AND NOTES.
necessary, on the part of the people, to render
it abundantly complaisant to ministers and The representation now given to the pub- favourites of all descriptions. It required a lic relates to some of the most essential privi- great length of time, very considerable indusleges of the house of commons. It would try and perseverance, no vulgar policy, the appear of litile importance, if it were to be union of many men and many tempers, and judged by its reception in the place where it the concurrence of events which do not happen was proposed. There it was rejected without every day, to build up an independent house debate. The subject inatter may, perhaps, of commons. Its demolition was accomplished hereafter appear to merit a more serious con- in a moment; and it was the work of ordinary sideration. Thinking men will scarcely re- hands. But to construct is a matter of skill ; gard the penal dissolution of a parliament as to demolish, force and fury are sufficient. a very trifling concern. Such a dissolution The late house of commons has been pumust operate forcibly as an example; and it nished for its independence.
That example much imports the people of this kin om to is made. Have we an example on record, of consider what lesson that example is to teach. a house of commons punished for its servility?
The late house of commons was not accused The rewards of a senate so disposed, are of an interested compliance to the will of a manifest to the world. Several gentlemen are court. The charge against them was of a very desirous of altering the constitution of different nature. They were charged with the house of commons: but they must alter being actuated by an extravagant spirit of in the frame and constitution of human nature dependency. This species of offence is so itself, before they can so fashion it by any closely connected with merit; this vice bears mode of election, that its conduct will not be so near a resemblance to virtue ; that the influenced by reward and punishment; by fame, flight of a house of commons above the exact and by disgrace. if these examples take root temperate medium of independence, ought to in the minds of men, what members hereafter be correctly ascertained, lest we give encou- will be bold enough not to be corrupt ? Esperagement to dispositions of a less generous cially as the king's high-way of obsequiousnature, and less safe for the people; we ought ness is so very broad and easy. To make a to call for very solid and convincing proofs of passive member of parliament, no dignity of the existence, and of the magnitude too of the mind, no principles of honour, no resolution, evils, which are charged to an independent no ability, no industry, no learning, and expespirit, before we give sanction to any measure, rience are in the least degree necessary. To that by checking a spirit so easily damped, and defend a post of importance against a powerful so hard to be oxcited, may affect the liberty enemy, requires an Elliot; a drunken invalid of a part of our constitution, which, if not free, is qualified to hoist a white flag, or to deliver is worse than useless.
up the keys of the fortress on his knees. The Editor does not deny, that by possi- The gentlemen chosen into this parliament, bility such an abuse may exist: but primâ for the purpose of this surrender, were bred to fronte, there is no reason to presume it. The better things; and are no doubt qualified for house of commons is not, by its complexion, other service. But for this strenuous exertion peculiarly subject to the distempers of an in- of inactivity, for the vigorous task of submisdependent habit. Very little compulsion is sion and passive obedience, all their learning and ability are rather a matter of personal practice of good times, and irreconcilable w ornament to themselves, than of the least use the principles of this government. in the performance of their duty.
Humbly to express to his majesty, that it is The present surrender, therefore, of rights the privilege and duty of this house to guard and privileges, without examination, and the the constitution from all infringement on the resolution to support any minister given by part of ministers; and whenevar the occasion the secret advisers of the crown, determines requires it, to warn them against any abuse of not only on all the power and authority of the the authorities committed to them: but it is house, but it settles the character and descrip- very lately,* that in a manner not more untion of the men who are to compose it; and seemly than irregular and preposterous, minisperpetuates that character as long as it may ters have thought proper, by admonition from be thought expedient to keep up a phantom of the throne, implying distrust and reproach, to popular representation.
convey the expectations of the people to us, It is for the chance of some amendment their sole representatives ;t and have prebefore this new settlement takes a permanent sumed to caution us, the natural guardians of form, and while the matter is yet soft and duc- the constitution, against any infringement of tile, that the editor bas republished this piece, it on our parts. and added some notes and explanations to it. This dangerous innovation we, his faithful His intentions, he hopes, will excuse him to commons, think it our duty lo mark; and as the original mover, and to the world. He acts these admonitions from the throne, by their from a strong sense of the incurable ill effects frequent repetition, seem intended to lead graof hoiding out the conduct of the late house of dually to the establishment of an usage, we commons, as an example to be shunned by hold ourselves bound thus solemnly to protest future representatives of the people.
This house will be, as it ever ought to be anxiously attentive to the inclinaiions and
interests of its constituents: nor do we desire MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SPEECH to straiten any of the avenues to the throne, FROM THE THRONE.
or to either house of parliament. But the
ancient order, in which the rights of the peoLune, 14° die Junij, 1784. ple have been exercised, is not a restriction A Motion was made, That a representa- of these rights. It is a method providently tion be presented to his majesty, most humbly framed in favour of those privileges, which it to offer to his royal consideration, that the preserves and enforces by keeping in that address of this house, upon his majesty's course which has been found the most effectua. speech from the throne, was dictated solely for answering their ends. His majesty may by our conviction of his majesty's own most receive the opinions and wishes of individuals gracious intentions towards his people, which, under their signatures, and of bodies corporate as we feel with gratitude, so we are ever under their seals, as expressing their own parready to acknowledge with cheerfulness and ticular sense; and he may grant such redress satisfaction.
as the legal powers of the crown enable the Impressed with these sentiments, we were crown to afford. This, and the other house willing to separate from our general expres- of parliament, may also receive the wishes of sions of duty, respect, and veneration to his such corporations and individuals by petition. majesty's royal person and his princely vir- The collective sense of his people his majesty tues, all discussion whatever, with relation to is to receive from his commons in parliament several of the matters suggested, and several assembled. It would destroy the whole spirit of the expressions employed in that speech. of the constitution, if his commons were to
That it was not fit or becoming, that any decided opinion should be formed by his faith- + See King's Speech, Dec. 5, 1782, and May ful commons, on that speech, without a degree 19, 1784. of deliberation adequate to the importance of
Ý" I will never submit to the doctrines I have
heard this day from the woolsack, that the other the object. Having afforded ourselves due
house [house of commons) are the only repre time for that deliberation, we do now most sentatives and guardians of the people's rights humbly beg leave to represent to his majesty, I boldly maintain the contrary-I say this house that, in the speech from the throne, his miniso [house of lords) is equally the representatives
of the people.". Lord Shelburne's Speech, ters have thought proper to use a language of
April 8, 1778. Vide Parliamentar Register a very alarming import, unauthorized by the vol. 10, page 392.
roceive that sense from the ministers of the we shall manifest will not ba the same with crown, or to admit them to be a proper or a theirs; but, we trust, it will be equally sin. regular channel for conveying it.
cere, and more cnlightened. It is no slight That the ministers in the said speech de- authority which shall persuade us (by receiving clare, “ His majesty has a just and confident as proofs of loyalty the mistaken principles reliance, that we (his faithful commons) are lightly taken up in these addresses) obliquely animated with the same sentiments of loyalty, to criminate, with the heavy and ungrounded and the same attachment to our excellent charge of disloyalty and disaffection, an uncorconstitution, which he had the happiness to rupt, independent, and reforming parliament.* see so fully manifested in every part of the Above all, we shall take care that none of the kingdom.”
rights and privileges, always claimed, and To represent, that his faithful commons have since the accession of his majesty's illustrious never failed in loyalty to his majesty. It is family constantly exercised by this house (and new to them to be reminded of it. It is unnecessary and invidious to
upon them by * In that parliament the house of commons any example. This recommendation of loy- by two several resolutions put an end to the alty, after his majesty has
for so many
American war. Immediately on the change of years, with the full support of all descriptions ministry, which ensued, in order to secure their
own independence, and to prevent the accumu. of his subjects, on the throne of this kingdom, lation of new burthens on the people by the at a time of profound peace, and without any growth of a civil list debt, they passed the esta. pretence of the existence or apprehension of
blishment bill. By that bill thirty-six offices war or conspiracy, becomes in itself a source pressed ; and an order of payment was framed,
tenable by members of parliament were supof no small jealousy to his faithful commons ; by which the growth of any fresh debe was ren. as many circumstances lead us to apprehend dered impracticable. The debt on the civil list that therein the ministers have reference to
from the beginning of the present reign had some other measures and principles of loyalty, pounds and upwards. Another acı was passed
amounted to one million three hundred thousand and to some other ideas of the constitution, for regulating the office of the paymaster general, than the laws require, or the practice of par- public money had sometimes
been in the hands
and the offices subordinate to it. A million of liament will admit.
of the paymasters : this act prevented the pos. No regular communication of the proofs of sibility of any money whatsoever being accu. loyalty and attachment to the constitution, mulated in that office in future. The offices of alluded to in the specch from the throne, have
the exchequer, whose emoluments in time of
war were excessive, and grew in exact propor. been laid before this house, in order to enable
tion to the public burthens, were regulated ; us to judge of the nature, tendency, or occa- some of them suppressed, and the rest reduced sion of them; or in what particular acts they to fixed salaries. To secure the freedom of were displayed; but if we are to suppose the
election against the crown, a bill was passed to manifestations of loyalty (which are held out
all officers concerned in the collection
of the revenue in any of its branches froin voling to us as an example for imitation) consist in in elections; a most important act, not only certain addresses delivered to his majesty, with regard to its primary object, the freedom promising support to his majesty in the exer
of election, but as materially forwarding the
due collection of revenue. For the same end, cise of his prerogative, and thanking his
(the preserving the freedom of election,) the majesty for removing certain of his ministers, house rescinded the famous judgment relative to on account of the votes they have given upon the Middlesex election, and expunged it from bills depending in parliament,-if this be the the journals. On the principle of reformation example of loyalty alluded to in the speech of public æconomy, an act passed for rendering
of their own house, connected with a principle from the throne, then we must beg leave to contractors with government incapable of a seat express our serious concern for the impression in parliament. The India Bill, (unfortunately which has been made on any of our fellow
lost in the house of lords,) pursued the same
idea to its completion ; and disabled all servants subjects by misrepresentations, which have
of the East India company from a seat in that seduced them into a seeming approbation of house for a certain time, and until their conduct proceedings subversive of their own freedom. was examined into and cleared. The remedy We conceive, that the opinions delivered in of infinite corruptions and of infinite disorders
and oppressions, as well as the security of th: e se papers were not well considered; nor
most important objects of public aconomy were the parties duly informed of the nature of perished with that bill and that parliament the matters on which they were called to deter- Thal parliament also instituted a commillee to mine, nor of those proceedings of parliament inquiro into the collection of the revenue in all
its branches, which proscculed its duty with which they were led to censure.
great vigour; and suggested several materia We shall act inore advisedly.-The loyalty improvements.