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for—[A cry from the Treasury Bench of, yes there was/]—But I must deny that there was any: After Sir Robert had been made a Peer, I am perfectly aware that a Secret Committee was instituted for the purpose of investigating all the tranfactions of the past ten years of his life, and every body knows in what manner the Secret Committee was put an end to. In the present case it has been asked," what, no fault imputed?" So far from any faults being capable of being imputed to the Right Hon. Gentleman, I protest I do not know any person less culpable. The fact is, the House has thought proper to deny its confidence to the Right Hon. Gentleman, not with any view to proscription in suture, bat merely on account of the grounds upon which he came into office; and no Minister can think of standing after this House has withdrawn its confidence. It never has been done, nor indeed ever attempted. Let the Right Hon. Gentleman reflect a little how extraordinary it is, therefore, for him to persist in keeping his place. Not that I mean to blame him for it. I like his spirit. He has shewn it, and proved, what I always thought he would prove, sit to be a Minister. But let the Right Hon. Gentleman look to the manner in which a period has been put to former Administrations. The Earl of Shelburne lost his situation by the peace he made; a peace which I always considered as a good thing for the country, but of which I now entertain ten times a better opinion than before ; because if the war had continued, and the divisions and contests we had been lately engaged in taken place, the country must have been utterly ruined. The Earl of Shelburne, upon a majority of sixteen only against him in this House, though with a considerable majority in the other House, thought sit to retire. My Noble Friend in the blue ribbon also, had not had a majority against him two years ago, but he nevertheless thought it riffht to retire, when he faw his majority rapidly decreasing. Mv Noble Friend has done wisely in so retiring. I thought and faid so at the time, having, as I recollect, stood up pretty nearly in the fame place in which I now stand, and advised my
Noble Nohle Friend to take the hint and retire. Ministers may imagine whatever they please, but it is impossible for them to remain'after this House has denied them their confidence. I am well known to be a friend to the prerogative of the Crown, but that prerogative has been lately exercised in so lavish a way, that though I would not point it out as a fault imputable to the Right Hon. Gentleman, (Mr. Pitt) yet certainly it has been used in such a manner, as to excite and deserve the notice of this House. The Crown has an undoubted right to distribute honours, but it never has been held to be a right or a constitutional exercise of the prerogative to lavish honours and titles in such a manner as has of late been the cafe. This House has seen four peerages within the last month, and I understand there is a promise of thirteen or fourteen more. It is not a little extraordinary that three out of four are bestowed on Gentlemen from Cornwall, a county that was ever remarkable for more of what is called rotten boroughs than any other county in the kingdom. I do not mean to abuse the Gentlemen who have received these honours, but it cannot escape the notice of the House, that it is extraordinary they should happen to be created just now, and three of them out of such a county. The Duke of Northumberland has but lately come into that county, and, tottering as he is under the load of ribbons and honours, and other favours of the Crown, he has been decked with one more, honour. How the Noble Duke came by his former honours, you all know; perhaps it might be guessed at, why he has an additional honour granted him at this time. When I fay this, I declare I mean nothing derogatory to the Noble Duke; I have a very high respect for him; but I thought it right to observe a little upon this matter, since my Right Hon. Friend has been ridiculed, because he'could not, when Minister, make a single Peer. The fact certainly was so. My Right Hon. Friend has also lately been sneered at, and it has been faid, that his majorities did not increase. I will venture to fay, that the House, under such temptations, has evinced unexampled inte
grity, and daring disinterestedness. Had my Right Hon. Friend had it in his power to make one-half, and promise seven out of the fourteen Peers he had mentioned, I would have undertaken to have answered for his majorities having increased, rather than decreased.—With regard to the reason of making these Peers just now, I conceive it not to have been so much, because the persons so to be honoured were wanted to do the business in the House of Lords, but because there were others wanted to do business in the House of Commons. The advising his Majesty to dismiss his Ministers about Christmas was a rash and foolish thing; but having done so, the present Ministers should complete the business. They should have instantly dissolved the present Parliament. That would have been acting rightly and wisely; not that I mean to speak inconsistently with my former opinion against a dissolution. All I mean now is, that a measure which I by no means approve, could only have been rendered of any effect by being immediately followed up by another measure, which I likewise, abstractedly considered, deemed .equally rash and improper. I voted for Mr. Fox's India Bill, because I thought upon the whole the Bill a good one. There were parts of it, undoubtedly, which wanted, and which I was pretty certain would now receive the necessary improve'ment. Mr. Pitt's Bill I will call by no nick-name; I will apply no watch-word of a party to it; I will barely fay it does not appear to me to have* been any thing like effectual, or equal to the real necessity of the cafe. With regard to. the patronage the Bill gave, 1 had, at any time, rather tr^ust a large influence, broad and ostensible, in the hands of a Minister, properly responsible, than the smallest portion of an influence, secret in its nature, in any hands whatever. Before I sit down, however warmly I may have delivered myself, I hope I have not spoken offensively ;. I am sure I had no intention to do so.
Mr. Rigby, Fib. 8, 1784.
AMERICAN AMERICAN AFFAIRS.
THERE are two things which Ministry have laboured to deceive the People in, and have persuaded them to; first, that it was an affair of Boston only, and that the very appearance of one single regiment there, would quiet every thing.
I have foretold the falsehood of both; I was converfant with that country more, more years, perhaps, than any man; I knew the cause of Boston would be made the cause of America; I knew the(mode of the Military would not be cfFcctual.
The manner of proceeding against Boston, was a proscription of a People unheard ;—unheard in any Court, either in the common Courts of Justice, or the higher, of Parliament, in both of which, evidence of facts are stated in proof of criminality; but the Americans were denied to be heard. The People of America condemned, and not heard, have a right to resist.
By whose advice vindictive counsels were pursued—by whose advice false representations were made—by whose advice malice and ill-will were made principles of governing a free People ;—all these are questions that will be asked. I mean no personal charge on any man farther than his misdoings call for.
There ought to be some instant proceeding towards a settlement before meeting of the Delegates. My object is to put the foot on the threshold of Peace, and to shew an intention of reconciling; I will, unless I am fixed to a sick bed—I will attend this business throughout, till I fee America obtain what I think fatisfaction for her injuries—still attentive that she shall own the supremacy of this country.
It would be my advice to his Majesty to end this quarrel the soonest possible; his repose is our duty. Who by mis-advice had planted a thorn in his side, by a contest with a People determined on their purpose r—
I wish to offer myself, mean as I am—I have a Plan, a Plan of a Settlement; solid, honourable, and lasting.
America means only to have fafety in Property, and personal Liberty. These, and these only were her object. Independency was falsely charged on her.
I disclaim all metaphysical distinctions.
The Declaratory Act leaves you a right to take their money when you please.
I mean to meddle with no man's opinion; and leaving all men to follow the Plan of their own opinions of former prosessions, my Plan is to establish for the American an unequivocal, express right of not having his Property taken from him but by his own Consent, in his own Assembly.
Eight weeks delay admits no farther hesitation, no, not of a moment; the thing may be over; a drop of blood renders it immcdicabile vulnus.
Whether it can ever now be a true Reconciliation, must be owing to the sull compenfation that America shall receive. Repeal the mutual ill-will that subsists, for it is not the repeal of a little Act of Parliament that will work Peace. Will the repeal of a bit of parchment avail? Will, think you, three millions of People in Arms be fatisfied by such a repeal? It must be a repaal on the principle of Justice? There must be no procrastination; you are to a moment—now—instantaneously. Every hour, that a beginning is not made towards softening, towards healing! the very news of which might work wonders—endangers the iixed Liberty of America, and the honour of the Mother Country.
The success and permanent effect of the' best measures may arise from mutual good-will.
My Motion is part of a Plan; and I begin with a proof of good-will. My Motion is, " to address the King to remove ** the Forces from the town of Boston."
The Congress, they are more wife, and more prudent than the meeting of ancient Greece. Your Lordships have read