Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

However, Sir, as it has been granted on all hands, that nothing contained in our Address can prevent the future inquiries of this House, or can be a bar to our censuring what we shall, upon inquiry, find to be amiss, therefore I shall propose no Amendment to the former part of the Motion : but I must take notice of one thing which is apparent, without any inquiry, to every man in this House, to every man who knows any thing of public affairs, and that is, the great charge this nation has already been put to on account of the war, while the other powers of Europe, not yet engaged in the war, have not put themselves to one shilling expence: nay, even our allies, the Dutch, who, as his Majesty has been pleased to tell us, are under the same engagements with us, have not put themselves to the least charge on account of the present war. Now, Sir, as his Majesty has told us, that we had no concern with the causes or motives of the war, we cannot, therefore, be involved in it, unless it be for the preservation of the balance of power : and as all our allies are as much interested in this respect as we are, it is reasonable they should bear their proportionable share of the expence: and as they have yet done nothing like it, I think it is become necessary for us to take some notice of this inatter in our Address to his Majesty ; for which reason, I shall move this Amendment to the latter part of the Address, viz. “ That this House will cheerfully and “ effectually raise such supplies, as shall be neceifary for the “ honour and security of his Majesty and his kingdoms; and « in proportion to the expences to be incurred. hy the other powers 66 who were under the fame engagements with this nation, and « not then involved in the war: and whatever shall be the success cs of his Majesty's gracious endeavours to procure the blessings " of peace and general tranquillity, will enable his Majesty to « act that part, which honour and justice, and the true intereft « of his people shall call upon him to undertake.”

Mr. William Pulteney, Jan. 27, 1735.

IT

It has always been the custom of this House, at the beginning of every Session of Parliament, to return his Majesty our Thanks for his Speech froin the Throne; but the severe stroke, which not only his Majesty and the Royal Family, but all the nation have received fince our last meeting, in the death of the Queen, requires, that on this occasion our Thanks to his Majesty, for his most gracious assurances, should be attended with our condolence for his inexpressible lofs. A lofs, Sir, which, I Aatter myself, I read in the eyes of every Gentleman who hears me, and which must be regretted by every subject in the kingdom, who retains in his breast one spark of loyalty and gratitude.

Gentlemen cannot miss to cbserve, that if his Majesty has expressed himself with more brevity than usual, it is owing to the remembrance of a Princess *, who endeared herself in every relation of life, either as a confort, a mother, or a Queen. And though her death, Sir, is an affiiéting dispensation to all the nation, yet we cannot suppose, that any of us can feel it so deeply as the royal breast; which, while she was alive, the so much eased of the toils of government by her counfels, which never had any other tendency than to promote his honour, by promoting the happiness of the people. Of this, Sir, we had many late instances, especially when the sovereign power, in the absence of her royal consort, was delegated into her hands. On that occasion, Sir, we may all remember with what moderation The governed, with what cheerfulness she rewarded, and with what reluctance she punihed; though the prudence of her measures rendered the exercise of this last and most ungrateful branch of the royal prerogative but seldom necessary. Therefore, Sir, however some amongst us may differ in particular views and interests, I hope we shall unite in paying a debt of gratitude to the memory of the best of Princesses, as well as of duty to the best of Kings.

Henry Fox, Esq; Jan. 24, 1738.

[ocr errors]

* The consort of George the Second.

.

As

As speeches from the 'Throne have been taken for the fence of the Ministry, too lavish Addresses from this House have been regarded rather as incense to the Minister, than a just acknowledgment to the Sovereign. But, Sir, I hope we shall always look upon ourselves as the trustees of the people, and endeavour to speak their sense in our Addresses, as well as act for their interests in our proceedings. Though the expression, Sir, propofed to be inserted in this Address, that we will carefully avoid all heats and animofities, is, to be fure, a very proper part of a Re. folution of this nature, and what I am persuaded every Gentleman will willingly agree to ; yet there have been instances, Sir, when from as well-guarded expreffions Ministers have taken occasion to attempt the subversion of that liberty of den bate, and freedom of speech, which ought to distinguish the Representatives of a free people. Amongst such a people, Sir, an opposition always must, and, perhaps, it is their happiness that it does exist, And, Sir, though it is to be wished that heats and animosities were banished from all opposition, yet, I am afraid, while men have different paffions, different interests, and different views, this can scarcely be effected.

The granting necessary supplies for the current year, Sir, is what seems very reasonable and indispensible in a House of Commons: but, Sir, I believe there are instances when, in former reigns, the Commons have refused to grant a shilling for the fervices of the current year, till they were sure the money granted for the services of the preceding had been properly applied. Besides, Sir, the true old parliamentary method of proceeding, was not immediately to grant a Vote of Address for every thing the Minister had done during the intermediate time, right or wrong, but to appoint a day for examining the grievances of the nation; and redress of these, was always insisted on before any supplies were granted.

No House of Commons ever had greater reason than we have to be frugal of the public money, and to inquire in what manner it has been applied. We have already granted to his

Majesty

Majesty sums sufficient to have enabled his Majesty to have put the nation in such a situation, that she might have nothing to fear from any enemies, either at home or abroad; and, consequently, to have diminished the taxes, and eased the people of some part of the unsupportable load of debt they now lie under, If, upon inquiry, it shall appear that they have acted in this manner; if it shall appear that the people have so much as a prospect of relief from their present pressures, I shall think the fums we have already granted, not only weil bestowed, but small concur in any Motion that may be made, for our granting the like in time to come; but, Sir, notwithstanding the sums we have already granted, if the public debt, instead of being dimi. nished, is daily increasing; if it shall appear that any part of it has been applied in promoting the arts of corruption and betraying the nation, I think it is our duty to put a stop to any such grants in future. In the mean time, Sir, I am as forward as ariy Gentleman here, that we should condole on the irrepasable loss of our late Queen; and that we testify our resolution of losing no opportunity of showing our zeal for the support of his government, and the preservation of our excellent conftitution; nay, of our going the greatest lengths in securing the Crown to his Majesty's person and family. But, Sir, give me leave to say, that the readiest way to make these engagements good, is by reserving to ourselves a right for inquiry into any application that may have been made of the public money and credit; and, hy determining, let the world see, that we are refolved to do as much as lies in our power for making his Majesty the Sovereign of a great, a happy, and an uncorrupted people.

Watkin Williams-Wynne, Jan. 24, 1738.

I KNOW, my Lords, it has been of late years a custom, to make the Address of this House a fort of echo to his Majesty's Speech from the Throne; and as echoes never fail to repeat the last words of a sentence, fo, it seems, we must never fail echoing

[ocr errors][merged small]

back the last paragraph of his Majesty's Speech. This, I say, has been a custom of this House for some years past; but I cannot think, that a religious observance of this custom is either

consistent with the character we ought to preserve, or necessary :: for our shewing our respect to our Sovereign.

Earl of Chesterfield, Oet. 23, 1739.

My Lords, I have a Motion to make to your Lordships, which, as a friend to our present happy establishment, as a friend to his most gracious Majesty now upon the Throne, as a friend to my country, and as a Member of this House, I think I am in duty bound to make; but as it is a Motion of an extraordinary, though not an unprecedented nature, I must first beg leave to fhow you my reasons for making it; and I hope to show such reafons, as will induce every Lord of this House to think, that it is now absolutely necessary to comply with it.

My Lords, it is the duty of Parliament, and especially of this House, to give our Sovereign the most fincere advice, not only when it is asked, but often when it is not desired by the Crown. As Members of this House, we are in duty bound to have a watchful eye over the public measures his Majesty is advised to pursue, and over the chief Ministers he is pleased to employ in the administration of public affairs ; and when we are of opinion, that the measures he is advised to pursue are wrong, or that the Ministers he is pleased to employ are weak or wicked, it is our duty and our business, while we fit here, to warn our Sovereign of his danger, and to remove weak or wicked Counsellors from about his Throne. As to the parliamentary methods of removing a Minister, I need not acquaint your Lordships that they are of several kinds, and that all but one tend to punish as well as remove. When we proceed by impeachment, by bill of attainder, or bill of pains and penalties, the design is to punish as well as remove: but there is another way of proceeding in parliament, which tends only to remove the Minister from the King's Councils, without inficting any

real

« AnteriorContinuar »