patched to the relief of the troops in the islands, and not kept inactive at home. He would alfo require a lift of the officers and foldiers loft, fpecifying the lofs of each regiment. Such information would fhew what a drain these expeditions had proved from the population of the British iflands, and how much they tended to weaken them. Accounts ought, by the fame reafon, to be laid before the houfe, of the numbers carried off in the ports of Southampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, were it only to make known the iniquitous neglect of those who could leave troops confined seven months on board, expofed to the infallible effects of fuch a clofe imprisonment, notwithstanding the remonftrances made to government. He moved, at the fame time, for the production of other documents of the fame nature, by which he pledged himfelf to prove the mifconduct of minifters; adding, that unless they felt a confcioufnefs of the rectitude of his charges, they would gladly feize the occafion, now offered them, of vindicating themfelves from the imputations to loudly and generally laid to them by the public.

The difficulty of the minifter's fituation was ftrongly reprefented by Mr. Dundas. Papers and documents were demanded from them, of which official fecrecy prohibited the communication to the public. The time would certainly come, when they would gladly meet the ftricteft ferutiny of their conduct, fure that it would ftand the fevereft teft. All had been done in the Weft Indies that circumstances would permit, and reinforcements and fupplies of all kinds had been tranfmitted without delay, on the firft notice of their being wanted.

In the course of this debate, the tranfactions, under fir C. Grey, came into difcuffion. Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Francis, and general Tarleton, inferred, from words spoken by Mr. Dundas, that he meant to inculpate the conduct of that officer; but both he and Mr. Pitt beftowed the highest encomiums upon him. Mr. Grey, the member, declared, however, that fir C. Grey was carnefily defirous to give every elucidation refpecting the bufinefs with which he had been entrusted.

On the twenty-eighth of April, a violent debate took place on thofe subjects. Mr. Dundas entered into a minute and elaborate recapitulation of the conduct of government, refpecting the Weft Indies. He carefully detailed the forces of the kingdom, and what had been detached from them, on expeditions to thofe parts. He gave a circumstantial account of all that had happened there, and exerted himself to thew that the difafters and difappointments, that had befallen us, arose from accidents that were wholly unavoidable: the conduct of our commanders had been judicious, and that of miniftry irreproachable.

This apology did not prove fatisfactory to the oppofition. The imputation of having neglected the troops, in the Weft Indies, was reafferted, by Mr. Sheridan, with much pofitivenefs, and the diftribution of the forces affigned to the various fervices that took place at that time, inprobated as ill-judged; and fome of the fervices themfelves reprefented as unfeasonable, and interfering with the others. The troops deftined for the Weft-India expedition were alfo deferibed as unworthy the name of toldiers: they con[F2] fifted

fifted of elderly men, and mere boys, with raw youths at their head. This certainly was no better than mockery and parade. Mr. Dundas having exprefied, with much warmth on this occafion, his hope that the Cape of Good Hope would never be restored to the enemy, Mr. Sheridan took notice of the mortifying impreflion that fuch a declaration muft neceflarily make on the ftadtholder, who could not fail, thereby, to perceive, that what we took from the Dutch we were determined to keep. The stadtholder, in his retreat at Hampton, had, indeed, the fatisfaction of seeing his fleets, and foreign poffeffions, falling, not into the hands of his enemies, but those of his friends; yet, as thefe friends dragged him into the war, under the affurance of protection, he might well fay, with the Roman poet,

Pol me occidiftis Amici, non fervâft s!" HORAT.

The refult of this debate was, that miniftry acquiefced in the motions made by Mr. Sheridan, which were for accounts of the number of men deftined for the expedition to the Weft Indies, under fir C. Grey, in 1793; for accounts of the number withdrawn from that fervice, to form an expedition against the coaft of France under lord Moira, and of the numbers, who, after the conqueft of Martinico, St. Lucia, and Guadaloupe, were detached to St. Domingo. But the other motions, made by Mr. Sheridan, for a variety of official papers, relating to the circumstances of other armaments and intended expeditions, were negatived, on Mr. Dundas engaging to give explanatory anfwers to the queftions upon thofe fubjects.

The expedition to Quiberon, in the fummer of 1795, and its unfortunate illue to numbers of the French emigrants embarked in it, had been a fubject of univerfal difcuffion in this country ever fince it had happened, and had given occafion to the fevereft cenfures of those. to whom the management of it had been entrufted. The perfon whose fall was moft lamented was the count de Sombreuil, a French gentleman of a moft amiable character, and highly refpected for his many excellent qualities. He had, with many others, fallen into the hands of the enemy, and, like them, was condemned to death as a rebel. On the eve of his execution he wrote a letter to Mr. Wyndham, wherein he alluded to two others, one written to fir J. B. Warren, the other to Mr. Wyndham; a copy of this latt, was demanded by general Tarleton, as being of a public nature, and conformably to the defire of the count himfelf, who had, in the letter to fir J. B. Warren, expressed a wish that Mr. Wyndham would publish it: but this gentleman alleged it was more of a private than a public nature. In the mean time it was publifhed in a daily paper, and Mr. Sheridan affirmed that he found it related to matters of public importance, and reprefented the expedition alluded to in a very unfavourable light to minifters. Mr. Wyndham, in reply, allerted that it concerned the count himself, who was diflatisfied with the part affigned to him in that expedition. He did not, however, force it upon the count, who acted merely from his exceflive zeal in the cause he had embraced. This anfwer provoked

By G, my friends, ye have not ferved, but ruined me. HORAT


another from general Smith, in which he reprefented Mr. Puifiaye, who had the charge of that expedition, as unworthy of it, and as an emigraat of little confideration among his countrymen. Other members fpoke on this occafion: but the debate ended by Mr. Pitt's moving for the order of the day; and Mr. Sheridan's motion for the latter was thereby negatived.

rived from the influence they poffelled over the bank, of which the management was now become entirely their own, contrary to the fpirit of its inftitution, and the fafety of the conftitution itfelf, which was manifeftly endangered by so vaft an acceffion of power to the executive branch of government. Who could "have the face to deny that thele were glaring abuses, and that they called for immediate remedies? He would, therefore, in this critical fituation of affairs, endeavour to procure the realizing of thofe meafares of reform, fo long refolved upon, and which ought, from every motive of duty and honour, to be no longer delayed. For this pur pofe he would move, that an inquiry fhould be inftituted into the caufes that had prevented the profecution of thofe reforms fo folemnly fanctioned by the legislature, and fo ftrongly recommended by thofe to whole wifdom and integrity it had formally committed the infpection of that department most effential in all ftates, the revenue and finances of the nation, and all that was connected with this important object. He made other motions tending to the fame end; and concluded, by renewing the difapprobation he had fo often expressed of the war, as deftructive of men, and wafteful of treasure, beyond all precedents.

Years had now elapfed fince the famous declaration, made by the hoafe of commons, during the American war," that the influence of the crown had encreased, was ftill encreafing, and ought to be diminifhed." At that period feveral refolutions had allo pafled for the reform of various abules. But though this falutary work had been proceeded upon, it had gradually been laid afide, and the public had long ceafed to hear of any progrefs in the alterations propofed and promifed at that time It was to recall thefe divers objects to notice, that the marquis of Lanfdowne moved for the feveral papers relating to them. On the fecond of May he made a long and elaborate fpeech, in the house of lords, on the fubject of their contents, urging, with great force, the propriety of taking them into confideration at a time when the purpale for which the regulations contained in them were framed, and which was the retrenchment of needlefs expences, demanded the attention of the legislature more than ever. The marquis entered into a number of particulars in order to corroborate his affertion, that a ufclefs and expenfive augmentation of places and offices had taken place. The patronage thence arifing to miniftry had proved enormous: but the most dangerous was that de

The reforms alluded to were acknowledged by lord Grenville, in reply, to have been thought expedient by the commiffioners who had been appointed to examine the public accounts; but it should not be thence inferred, that they were applicable to all times and emergencies. The propofal, for inftance, to throw fome of the revenue-offices into one was [F3] imprac

impracticable, from the prodigious increase of bufinefs in each. The fame objection lay to others. Never had the public fervice required more labour, and never indeed had more been exerted by the refpective incumbents in every office. The abolition of patent places, another fubject of complaint, could not be always affected with equity; but ftill they were in a gradual courfe of being abolished. Refpecting the fyftem of barracks, fo much reprobated; the old plan allowed them for twenty thousand men, to which the new one had, for confiderations well founded, added others for fifteen thousand more. The difficulty of a fpeedy adjustment of accounts, in time of war, was too well known to enlarge upon; but the afcertainment of all public expences occupied the attention of minifters to the fulleft extent which their magnitude would permit, and they had not the leaft apprehenfion of being found defective in their accounts. With regard to the bank, the power vefted in it was clearly independent of minifters, and the afiiftance it afforded to government was entirely optional. To the other obfervations of the marquis he made fuch replies as he thought juftificatory of minifterial mea fures, and concluded by afferting, that when impartially reviewed, they would meet with certain approbation.

Thefe anfwers, to the marquis of - Lanfdowne, were, by the earl of I auderdale, reprefented as fallacious and unfounded. The immenfe amount of the debts, which miniftry left unfunded, fhewed their illmanagement and want of economy: the discount given occafionally on exchequer notes was equally dif

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creditable and alarming: the accounts relating to the barracks were confufed and erroneous; and the reafons affigned for other measures were vague and unfatisfactory.

The difference between the pecuniary fituation of this country, in 1783 and that in 1795, was circumftantially inveftigated by lord Ankland, in order to prove the fuperiority of our finances at the prefent day. The revenue was then two millions below the peace eftablishment, amounting to fifteen millions, but was now actually three millions four hundred thousand pounds above that establishment; and, by adding the two millions then deficient, was in reality five millions above it.

The lord chancellor, earl Spencer, and lord Hawksbury, opposed the motion, and it was farther fupported by lord Moira, and lord Guildford, who gave the house notice of his intention to move an inquiry into the ftate of the nation. The marquis of Lanfdowne's motion was rejected by one hundred and four votes against twelve.

The report of the committee of fupply upon the refolution, for granting a fubfidy of two hundred thoufand pounds to the king of Sardinia, was prefented to the houfe of commons on the third of May, when it was observed, by Mr. Fox, that circumftances were no longer the fame refpecting that prince, as when that fubfidy was firft voted. He was then to act against France with the coalition; but it was now underfood that he was about to forfake it, and to make a peace with the enemy. If fuch were the cafe, it was proper to know whether he thought himself at liberty to act in this manner, or whether indeed he were able to act otherwise, and mi nifters

ought, without difguifing the fact, indemnity. The houfe of commons to have applied to parliament for had, he faid, been notoriously faulty in not fetting limits to the extraordinaries during the American war; and the committee appointed to examine and digeft the public accounts had particularly pointed out the ruinous confequences of fuch negligence. Mr. Pitt had cenfured it himself with peculiar feverity, but had nevertheless been more guilty than any of his predeceffors in the miniftry. So determined infractions of its rights, that it passed, was the houfe to put a stop to these in 1784, a refolution, that should parliament be diffolved before the act of appropriation had pafled, to mifapply the money granted fhould be reputed a high misdemeanour. An act had also been paffed under the prefent minifter, to obviate the bad confequences of balances remaining with the paymafter-gene ral, and to provide for the conftant pay of the army; but this act had been notorioufly infringed; the paymafter having actually in his hands a balance of eighty-three thousand pounds. Mr. Grey, after mentioning other instances of mifapplica tion, adverted to the difpofition paper, a fpecies of voucher firft ufed in the prodigal reign of Charles II. and established at the revolution, as an authentic document, to inform parliament in what manner the fupplies they had granted had been expended. This paper he confidered as a mere deception; its contents reprefented the fums voted by parliament, as iffued and applied conformably to its intent, which was contrary to truth. This he might be told was only a form; but the practice was in fact directly oppofite [F4]


nifters had acceded to his defire for a feparate peace.

Mr. Pitt afferted, that lately the king of Sardinia, in circumftances of great difficulty, had confented to a fufpenfion of arms with the French, provided it were in conjunction with the emperor, but on no other terms: the emperor not confenting, the armistice did not take place. The French had, in the mean time, offered him peace, if he would make a ceffion of their acquifitions in his country, and an alliance with them, but he had refufed their offers.

It was observed, by Mr. Francis, that the motives of action with that prince would originate in the preffures he was in. His fituation required him to confult the neceffity of his affairs, rather than the magnanimity of his difpofition; exclufively of which, history had long fhewn, that no dependance could be placed on the ftability of the princes of the houfe of Savoy. Mr. Pitt however being farther preffed upon this fubject, put an end to it by declining to reply.



Three days after this difcuffion Mr. Grey brought feveral heavy charges against minifters, and moved them to be fufficient grounds of impeachment. They had, he faid, violated the act of appropriation, the main pillar of the pecuniary privileges of parliament, by diverting the grants of money to other purpofes than thofe for which they were voted, and they had endeavoured to screen themfelves by fpurious accounts. He then detailed the particulars in proof of his aculation, adding, that if the neceffities of the times had compelled them to have recourse to fuch methods for procuring money, they


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