Imatges de pÓgina

have only obtained time for the payment of the remainder, from the lords commissioners of the treasury, in order to enable them to get in money due to the deceased.

Mr. Gildart, late receiver-general for Lancashire, has lately compounded his debt with the lords commissioners of the treasury, under the authority of an act of Parliament, on condition that he shall pay into the exchequer the sum of ten thousand two hundred and eighty-two pounds two shillings and fix-pence farthing; four thousand two hundred and eighty-two pounds two shillings and six-pence farthing of which he has already paid; and has given very sufficient security for the payment of the remainder on or before Ladyday 1781; it is, however, to be observed, that the firstmentioned sum is a composition for the whole debt due to the crown, which includes the whole debt on the window duties.

Office for Taxes, 12th October, 1780.

GEORGE Rose, Secretary.


No 15.

Return by the Commissioners of Excise to the Order of the Commiffroners of Accounts, dated 29th of September, 1780; requiring an Account of Arrears, and Defaulters, of Officers of Excis, &c. &c.

There are no arrears, nor defaulters, of the officers of excise, for twenty years preceding the year 1777 inclusive, nor to this date : except that in the year 1774, Thomas Collis

, collector of Oxford, having advanced 3600l. of the excise money upon bills of exchange, drawn by Anthony Collins and Thomas Sylvester, on Messrs. Sylvesters, of Great Russel-street, London, and the several parties, both drawers and payers, becoming bankrupts before the said bills became payable, the said Collector Collis was, by order of the lords commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, acquitted and difcharged in his accounts of and from the said sum of 36ool. but their lordships were pleased, at the same time, to order, that the said Collins and Sylvester, who drew the laid bills, and Messrs. Sylvester, of 'Russel-street, who accepted the same, should be set infuper, for the said 3600l. and in no wise discharged from the lame, which sun is still remaining due from the parties above mentioned.

GOULSTON BRUERE, Accom. Gen. Excise Office, 4th October, 1780.


November 24. Mr. Minchin said, before the Heuse went into a committee Mr. Mirza of supply, for the purpose of imposing on the public the enor- cbin. mous expence of the army estimates, it was their duty, in justice to their constituents, whose money they were about to take out of their pockets, to know for what it was voted, and to be able to afsign a reason to the people, why they called upon them for to large a fum. The estimates upon the table, among other heads, stated that a very numerous army was necessary for carrying on of the war, and that the troops to be employed in plantation service amounted to a considerable number, and cost the nation a confiderable fum. In order to obtain fome satisfaction on that point, it was, that he meant to trouble the House, and without farther preface, to move for an account of the state and distribution of the army under the command of Sir Henry Clinton, according to the last returns. He therefore moved,

« That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House an account of the number of forces now under the command of Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton, in North America, and also the distribution of the fame, according to the last returns made up and transmitted by him to the office of the right honourable Lord George Germain."

Mr. Jenkinson, Secretary at War, faid, he believed it Mr. Jenkin. would not be expected that he should use many words in ex. fon. prefsing his entire disapprobation of the motion which had been just made by the honourable gentleman. The motion spoke sufficiently for itself; the object of it was to procure the exact account of the present position of the British army in America. Motions had before been made, at different periods, which went not near so far in their object, (they only requiring the state of the army in America) all which motions the House had thought it wile and prudent to reject, becaufe if they had been agreed to, the House would itself have published to their enemies what the interest of the nation rendered it highly necessary should be concealed from their knowledge, The present motion was of all others moft ob

jectionable. Would gentlemen seriously think it politic to publish to all the world, not only the state of the army, but its actual position ? He flattered himself the House would


feel the impolicy of such a measure, and therefore he should endeavour to avert the mischief, by moving that the order of

the day be now read. Mr. Turner. Mr. Turner rose to second the right honourable gentleman's

motion, " that the order of the day be now read.”

Mr. Turner said the county in which he lived, and the constituente whom he represented, (and perhaps they were as refpectable conftituents as sent any one gentleman to that House) had told him, previous to his election, that they would never place any confidence in himn, if he gave the least countenance to the farther prosecntion of the American war. He therefore feconded the right honourable gentleman's motion for reading the order of the day, and going into a committee of supply, in order to see whether the war was to be continued in America or not, to meet ministers in the teeth on that point, and know whether they dared to spend more of the public money on so frivolous and fruitless a project? He wished to know if they meant to bamboozle the nation any farther, and the sooner it was known the better. He declared he had been confined to his bed fix weeks before he left his own house; he had got up from that bed, and travelled to London, 250 miles, at the rate of forty miles a day, to do his duty as a member of that House. In his journey he caught cold, and had a person to fit up with him for several nights together; but expecting that the committee of supply would come on, he had at all hazards come down to the House, and was determined to bring it to the proof, whether that House would suffer minifters to go on in the same mad and extravagant manner that they had hitherto pursued! He reminded the Speaker, that ten or a dozen years ago he had told the House that the war with America was an unconstitutional war, and he said, he had told the House truth: but the last was a hired House of Commons, and did just as the hirers pleased. The people who paid the taxes, he was sure, would not agree to go on with the war, and those were not the electors of the gentlemen who formed the majority of that House. He declared he had uniformly voted one way, and often in a small minority. He liked a small ininority beft, a small minority had virtue, and wished well to the country; a large minority was a bad thing, a small one a good thing. After

a few more words, spoken with a blunt integrity, Mr. Turner repeated it, that he seconded the motion that the order of the day be now read.


Mr. Minchin, in reply to the secretary at war, faid, the Mr. Minanswer he had just received was so hackneyed, that he never

chin. heard it given to a motion like that he had taken the liberty of making, without being afhamed of the person from whose mouth it came. The idea of danger to the country and service to its foes, from acceding to his proposition, was ridiculous and absurd to an extreme. Was Sir Henry Clinton's army, in its constitution, different from that of every other army? Were there no friends to the enemy, no fpies in it? Would the right honourable gentleman take upon him to affert, that General Washington, Monsieur Rochambeau, and Monfieur Ternay, were not perfectly masters of the information he wished the House to receive? On the contrary, would not the right honourable gentleman, if he chose to confess the real motive of his objection, fay, that he was not afraid of giving information to France and America, but that he was afraid of giving information to that House Mr. Minchin said farther, that he had no objection to leave out that part of the motion which called for the account of the fituation of General Clinton's army, and content himself barely with moving, that an account of the state of General Clinton's army be laid before the House.

The Sccretary at War faid, if it depended upon him, he Mr. Jenshould say his objections were so strong, that he was not wil- kinfor. ling to take even' half the motion only. It so happened, however, that his motion for the order of the day to be read had been feconded and put ; it rested therefore with the House to dispose of it.

The Right Hon. T. Townshend rose upon this, and appealed Rt. Hon. in fairness

to the right honourable gentleman, whether, when 7. Towns his honourable friend wished to make an amendment to his

poendo motion, by leaving out the most offensive part, he ought to infift upon reading the order of the day upon it. As the motion stood at first, Mr. Townshend said, he thought it was too extensive, and that there was ground for reasonable objection to it. He had told his honourable friend fo when he thewed it to him ; at the same time that he mentioned this he begged to have it understood that he did not see the least objection to it on the score that had been fuggefted, viz. the fear of its giving information to our enemies. As his hoc nourable friend had said, there could be no danger of that. kind in the case, fince a full compliance with the inotion Vol. XVIII,



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would only give that House some information respecting
matters, of which undoubtedly General Washington, Mon-
sieur Rochambeau, and Monsieur Ternay, bad complete
knowledge six months ago. The aflertion of his honourable
friend was true, that Ministers were only afraid of giving in-
formation to that House. Scarce a day passed without af-
fording, a proof of this, their present Glence was a more than
ordinary instance of their haughty treatment of Parliament.
What did it amount to, but a direct demand for a large sum
out of the public pocket, without giving that public the
finallest satisfaction how their money was to be employed.
Mr. Jownthend faid, he was aware he might be answered,
“ Look at the estimates upon the table !” but those estimates
did not cure his objection; in those estimates no account was
given of the provincial corps, some of which he was informed
were inere corps of officers, a system of putting the nation
to expence by means which did not conduce to its interest,
that had been pretty much adopted of late! Why did not
Ministers account for the provincial troops? Why did they
not show, that when they obtained the public money, they
applied it to the public service ftri&ly, and not bring eftia |
mates to Parliament which held out no real lights, no in-
formation that could be depended on ? Mr. Townshend con-
cluded with recommending it to his honourable friend to
amend the motion, and hoping that the House would then
receive it.

Mr. Minchin faid, he had no olujection to leave out the part which had been juft spoken to, but that he should certainly insist on his motion; and that he thought it highly indecent in the right honourable gentleman, and those who sạt near him, to hurry on a business of such confiderable importance as the consideration of the army estimates, on a day when so many of them had risen, and expreffed their great 'doubt of being able to get a House of 100 members together, to ballot for a committee.

The House Thewing an inclination, that the motion for reading the order of the day be withdrawn, in order to put the amendment, the Speaker stated the question, and the House having agreed to the amendment, the amended motion was next put, when

Lord, George Germain rose and moved the order of the day; his Lordship, at the same time, in answer to Mr. Town


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