Imatges de pÓgina
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Sum than was ever laid out in this Nation upon such a Ser- Anno 8. Geo. 11. vice, in so small a Number of Years ; nay, I do not know but it amounts to more than was ever before expended in this Nation for Building Docks or any other Sort of Buildings for the Use of the Navy, or the Officers of our Navy; and therefore, both with respect to the Nature of the Service, and the Sum to be laid out, it ought not to have been undertaken without a previous Authority from Parliament.

• Sir, if the Nation has been run into any unnecessary Expence, I am sorry to hear it said, that nothing has been undertaken without the Approbation of Parliament; but, Sir, if it were so, the Authority or the Approbation mer Parliaments can be no Reason for our following their Example, in giving our Authority for undertaking such Services for Years to come, as they have authorised for Years paft: We are under no greater Obligation to approve of what was approved of

by the very last Parliament, than that Parliament in King Charles Ild's Reign, called The Penfiozary Parliament.

To pretend that what is now proposed will raise Jealoufies among the People, or give them any Suspicions of his Majesty's Government, is an Argument, I find, always to be brought in when any Attempt is made to inquire into the Conduct of his Majesty's Ministers ; but I would have Gentlemen consider, that the proper Business of Parliament is to inquire into the Conduct of Ministers ; and if the People find that such Attempts are always over-ruled, it will give them a Suspicion, not only of his Majesty's Government, and the Conduct of his Ministers, but it will give them likewise a Suspicion, and a just one too, of the Condod of Parliament : We ought to consider what it was that gave the Parliament in King Charles IId's Reign, the ignominious Epithet it is now branded with ; and if the People should conceive any such Suspicion of this or any future Parliament, it would raise real Jealousies among them, it would make them despair of ever having their Grievances redressed in a legal Way, and that Despair might drive them into the most violent Methods of seeking Redress ; therefore I wish Gentlemen would, upon all Occasions, diftinguish a little between his Majesty and his Minifters, and never allow the Respect they have for the latter, to over-balance the Duty they owe to the former.

· The Respect chat former Parliaments have shewn to the Ministers for the Time being, and the great Confidence put by Parliament in their Conduct, is, I am afraid, one great Cause that the Nation now remains under such a Load of Debts and Taxes ; and therefore it is high Time for us to reaffume that Jealouły which has so often proved to be

of

Anno 8. Geo. It. of the most signal Benefit to this Nation. We have been 1734-35.

talking, Sir, of putting ourselves in a Condition to compel the Acceptation of the Terms of Peace we are to propole, but I wish we may not find that our Neighbours are too well acquainted with our Circumstances to be afraid of any Tling we can do : They know that our People are already as heavily taxed as they can bear : They know that all those Taxes are already engaged, either for the Payment of our Debts, or for the Support of our Civil Góvernment ; can it be supposed that our Menaces will have great Influence upon any of their Resolutions ? But if they ihould find, that our Parliament were beginning to look closely into the Management of our publick Affairs, they would from thence conclude, that the best Use would be made of every Shilling hereafter to be raised; that the People would contribute with the more Alacrity, and from thence they will probably be induced to give some Attention to whatever we may think necessary to propose, for reftoring the Peace of Europe. For this reason, if there were no other, we ought to agree to what the honourable Gentleman has been pleafed to propose.'

Then the Question being put upon Sir William Wyndham's Motion, it was, upon a Divifion, carried in the Ne

gative, by 198 to 168. Mr Plumer's Mo- Feb. 26. Mr Walter Plumer movid, “That the Copy of a Conmittee to in the King's Warrant, whereby Letters were permitted to pass quire into the Post-Olnce.

Poft-Free, which had been laid before the House on the 19th Inftant [See p. 73 ) might be taken into Confideration. The Warrant being accordingly read, Complaints were made by several Members, that their Letters were not only charged at the Poft Office, but that they were often broke open and perufed by the Clerks : That this Practice of breaking open Letters was become frequent, and was so publickly known, that the very End for which that Liberty was given to the Poftmafter was entirely disappointed ; for the Intention being at firft to discover any treasonable Correfpondence that might be carried on against the Goverment, that Intention was rendered altogether vain, because by the Practice of opening Letters being fo frequent, and fo well known, it was certain that no Man would carry on any treasonable Correspondence by Means of the Post-Office; lo that the Liberty given to break open Letters at the Pott-Office could now ferve no Purpose, but to enable the little Clerks about that Office to pry into the private Affairs of every Merchant, and of every Gentleman in the Kingdom. At last it was insisted, that the Warrant then laid before the House was not the laft Warrant granted by his Majefty, nor the Warrant by which the Polt-masters then acted ; and

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therefore it was moved, that a Committee be appointed to Anno 8. Geo. 11. inquire into that Affair.

Mr Plumer's Motion was supported by Mr Lisle, Mr Debate thereon. Heathcote, Mr Pulteney, Mr Dandafs, and Mr Perry; it Mr Lide. was in some Measure opposed by Sir Robert Walpole, and Mr Pulteney. Mr Henry Pelham, but at last they agreeing to the Mo- Mr Perry. tion, provided that Committee did not inquire into any Mr H. Pelham Thing that might tend to the discovering the Secrets of the Government ; a Committee was appointed accordingly.

The fame Day the Mutiny-Bill being reported to the sir Wal. Wag taf House, Sir Walter Wagstaff Bagot, Bart. stood up, and Bagor's Motion for faid, “That since the House had made such a large Addi- ed to the Mutiny: tion to the Army, and seemed inclined to continue the Bill, relating to the

inlisting of Soldisevere Penalties on Deserters, and the Method of recruiting ers. prescribed by that, and former Bills of the like Nature, he thought it neceffary to add some Clause, to make the Bill less dangerous to the Subject : That by a Claufe in the Bill it was proposed to be enacted, as in former Bills, that if a poor Country-Fellow should inlist with an Officer and take his Money, and afterwards, when carried before a Justice, refuse to declare himself inlisted and to take the Oaths prescribed by Law, it should then be in the Power of the Officer to send such a poor Fellow to Prison, and confine him in a Dungeon for a whole Month, even tho' it should appear that the poor Fellow inlisted when he was drunk, and was willing to return the Money he had taken, and fatiffy all the Charges the Officer had been at : That this Power of confining a Man in a Dungeon, where he might be in Danger of starving, was, he thought, too great a Power to be intrusted absolutely in the Hands of any Officer : That it was no way necessary for his Majesty's Service, and might be of dangerous Consequence, because it might tempt some Officers to practise all the inveigling Arts they could think of, not with an Intention to recruit his Majesty's Forces, bat to compel poor Country-Fellows to give them a Sum of Money, by way of Compofition, for being discharged from the Bargain they had made when drunk, or in a Pafion, and for being freed from the Confinement to which the Officer had, by Law, an uncontroulable Power to subject shem : That therefore he would beg Leave to offer a Clause to be added to the Bill, · That every Officer, who should * thereafter inlift any Man to serve in any Regiinent, should • within Days carry the Man so inlisted before some • one of the next Justices of the Peace, where the Man so • inliled should be at Liberty to declare his Disfent, and • hus having repented of what he had done ; and upon his

so doing, and returning to the Officer the inlifting Money, and the Expences the Officer had been at by inlifting him,

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Anno 8. Coco. il. " and carrying him before the Justice, not exceeding the 17 34-35 • Sum of

such Justice should forthwith discharge him : And that an Officer, guilty of any Fai

• lure or Neglect in this Respect, should be liable to the Debate thercon.

• fame Penalties to which Officers are made liable for false

• Musters.' Mr Bramston.

This was feconded by Mr Bramston, who informed the House, « That he actually knew a Case, where a poor Fellow was inveigled when he was drunk, and when he came to be sober, repented, and therefore refused to take the Oaths when carried before the Justice; but the Officer infifted upon his being sent to Prison, and confined for a Month in the Terms of the Act of Parliament, tho' the poor Fellow offered to return the inlifting Money and all Charges ; and it not being in the Power, or in the Inclination of the Justice to refuse the Officer's Demand, the poor Fellow was accordingly sent to Jail, where he remained for some Time ; but having no Vi&tuals nor Drink, he was at last compelled to go before the Justice and take the Oaths

prescribed, in order to prevent his being starved.' Gen. Wade. To this it was answer'd by General Wade, Mr Henry Mi Windbromley. Bromley, Mr Lindsay, and Mr Hay, That what was proM: Hay. posed by the Clause offered had already been taken Care of

by his Majesty's Orders for regulating the Army, for as no Soldier could be tried upon the Mutiny-Ad, unless he had taken the Oaths prescribed by that Aa before some Justice of Peace, therefore his Majesty had given an Order to all Oficers, that no Recruit should be brought to or entered in any Regiment, 'till he had first been regularly inlisted, and had taken the Oaths prescribed by Law, before some of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace ; so that by his Majesty's Order every Officer was obliged to do what was proposed by the Clause offered ; and as the Bill then before them was of the Lame Nature with former Bills against Mutiny and Desertion, it would be absolutely necessary to continue the fame general Order to all Officers, with respect to their carrying Recruits before some Justice of Peace, therefore they thought It was unnecessary to add any Clause for that Purpose ; and it would be attended with many Inconveniencies, particularly, that it would be sometimes impossible for an Officer to carry a Recruit before any Juitice within the Time proposed,

or within any limited Number of Days' & Tirthan. To this it was replied by Sir William Wyndham, Sir

John Barnard, and Mr Sandys, ' That the very Clause then proposed had been in several Mutiny Bills during the Reign of King William, tho' it was then in Time of War, and Recruiting of Course more difficult than it could be supposed to be at present : That the honourable Gentlemen who op.

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posed the Clause, could not say, that by any Order his Ma. Aeno 8. Geo. Il jefty could give, the Justice of Peace was obliged to difcharge the Man inlifted, upon his declaring before him his having repented of what he had done, and returning to the Officer the inlifting Money and all the Charges the Officer had been at for inlifting him : That what was proposed by the Clause was to lay an Obligation upon the Justice, and to give a poor Fellow an Opportunity to get off upon reasonable Terms, in case he should repent of what he had done ; neither of which could be effectuated by any Order his Majesty had given, or could give for regulating the Army: That the Grievance complained of was, the inveigling of Men to inlist, and making a Property of them after their having been so inveig!ed : That this was a Privilege which they hoped no Officer would infift on : That the Abolishing of this Privilege was what the Clause offer'd chiefly aim'd at ; and therefore they hop'd the House would agree to it.

Sir R. Walpole. Sir Robert Walpole and Mr Henry Pelham having de- Mr H, Pelham. clared, That they would be for the Clause, if it could be so drawn aś not to be attended with any Inconvenience to the Service ; and thereupon proposed that the Debate be adjourned till the next Day, in order that such a Clause might be contrived : And it being admitted of the other Side, that the Clause, as it then stood, might perhaps stand in need of some little Amendment, it was agreed to adjourn the Debate accordingly till next Day; when the Clause was agreed to, and added to the Mutiny-Bill.

Mr Walpole's MoFeb. 28. The House being in a Grand Committee on the tion for a subfidy

of 56,2501, co Den Supply, and the Treaty with Denmark, dated Sept. 19, mark? 1734, having been referred to the said Committee, a Mótion was made by Mr Horatio Walpole, · That the Sum of 56,250 1. be granted to his Majesty, on account of the Subsidy to the King of Denmark, pursuant to the said Trea- Debate thereon. ty, for the Service of the Year 1735.

This occasioned a Mr H. Walpole. long Debate, in which Mr Walpole's Motion was supported Mr Winnington, by Mr Winnington, Mr * Willes, Col. Bladen, and Sir Col. Bladen.

Sir R. Walpole. Robert Walpole, as follows:

Sir, • Although we are not engaged in the present War, yet, as the Balance of Power in Europe depends very much uponi the Event of it, we may be foon under a Necessity of joining one or other of the Parties ; therefore it is incumbent upon us to strengthen ourselves before-hand, by engaging as many foreign Powers as we can to join with us upon such an Event. In this Situation, it was natural to cast our Eye first towards Denmark, the Interest of that Nation being VOL. IV.

M

generally • Arterney General, now Lord Chief Justice of the Common Please

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