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always be a sufficient security against abuse / power alluded to had been exercised were of of every kind. It was the principle of the late extremely rare ; but the best eeffcts British constitution to separate every thing resulted from the existence of the power, odious from the crown, and to adorn it with Every part of the prerogative pushed to the heavenly attributes of mercy and the extremes would produce abuses—such as in power of relief. It was an inconsistency with the making of peace or war. But this was this principle that he wished to remove, byno reason for diminishing that prerogative. giving to the officers of the army the same An army independent of the sovereign was measure of justice enjoyed by the rest of the contrary to common sense. Such an community. It was by the army that the encroachment on the prerogative would crown was supported and the people pro- | subvert the constitution. He allowed that tected, and why shonld the army be in a ' in former times officers had been deprived worse situation than any other part of the l of their regiments for voting against mipeople in the essential point of justice ? | nisters. But there were no instances of The army had now grown to such an ex: | this abuse in modern times. He therefore tent, with a disposition still further to | gave his decided negative to the proposiaugment it, that even in point of mere tion." numerical consideration, it was a large “ Lord Folkestone adverted to the extra. portion of the people. And in the present i ordinary manner in which the honourable critical and dangerous situation of the secretary had answered the arguments of the country, when our safety depended so much l honourable baronet on his side. He had on the zeal and energy of the ofôcers of the l complimented him first for not stating past army, ought they to be left in circumstances | abuses, and then objected to the clause, bein which they might be whispered out of 1 cause no grounds had been laid for it. The their rank and situation, into poverty, dis | honourable secretary very well knew that grace, and ruin, and a thousand calainities there were instances of the most cruel opworse than any law could infiict, by the arts i pression that might be stated. But the of a dark malignant assassin, who would honourable baronet below only looked to not dare to meet them in the open light of the future, and had laid irrestible grounds genuine British justice ? Courts martial | for his proposition. He had stated his obe afforded ample means to punish every l ject to be to protect the officers and the description of offence, and when it was crown itself from doing what was known tonsidered that these courts were not like I to have been done, and from the secret juries, bound to be unanimous in their | whispers of slander and malice. His lordsentence, and how many descriptions of ship, however, expressed his hope, that the offences could be included under the very honourable barvnet would withdraw his extensive and sweeping charge of ingenile- clause, and bring the subject forward in a man-like conduct, so often censured and l separate bill, for so grave and important a punished by them, he was sure no latitude 1 matter required the most serious deliberaof impunity could be apprehended, by tion and the fullest discussion. The hos giving every accused person the opportunity | nourable barovet he allowed could not, of stating his case before such a tribunal. 1 however, be liable to the charge of precipi. He moved a clause accordingly."
tation from the other side. The noble lord “The Secretary at War complimented the opposite had brought forward his clause in honourable baronet on the moderation which a manner equally sudden; and as the hoe he had displayed ; but objected to the clause l uourable secretary had expressed so strongly because he had laid no grouud for it. He his aversion to changes, he, no doubl, urged the bad consequences of changes in would give his vote against the change prothe military system without the strongest , posed by the noble lord near him. He Teasons for it; and the necessity that the earnestly requested the honourable baronet army should be dependent on the crown. It 1 to withdraw his clause for the present, as was so necessary that even if it were not the , he should regret extremely to te obliged to the case at present, he should have proposed I give it his negative." it now for the first time. He would wish, if " Colonel Duckett opposed the clause, on it were possible, that the military should have l account that it would be making the army the advantage of the common law; but it judges in its own cause ; 3nd also, as it prowas inconsistent with the constitution and I posed to refuse, for the first time, the place discipline of the army. The history of the ing confidence in the crown, when we had world proved the necessity of strict disci- | a sovereign who of all others had best depline in an army, and for this it must look | served it." it a head. The instances in which the « General Fitzpatrick said, that when be bad proposed any change in the constitution, no sovereign ever deserved confidence so of the army, he had always stated reasons well as his Majesty. That is a settled point. which appeared to him to make it a matter But, the worst of it is, that there will aiof wecessity. The military laws were na- ways be nen tu say the same thing of every turally rega:ded in that house with a strong | future sovereign, as there have been to say prejudice; and those who were particularly s it of the past. Pope has a passage, the words attached to the principles of the constiille of which I forget, but the substance of tion, applied argumenis to these laws which which is, that the character whom he is dewere noi at all suited to the nature of the scribing, always thought the king of the case. They were a vecessary evil, and time being the best; and, when one king ought not to be interfered witb. The ho- | died, could scarce be vext, so wise and granourable baronet had been complimented cious was the next. But, the qualities of for his moderation, in not going into past the king had nothing at all to do with the abuses ; but he was bound to make out ' matter." Sir Francis Burdett professed to the strongest case before a change of this wish for nothing more than to guard tbe ofkind could be for a moment conte:nplated. ficers of the army for the future; and,
The proposition, therefore, had bis decided surely, to leave the fortunes, the character, negative."
and the happiness of so considerable a part The motion was withdrawn, in order to i of the nation at the sole mercy of the milibe brought forward again in a separate bill. : tary adviser of the king is not very agreeable I have long wished to see this question to the spirit of those laws, which make up brought before parliament.. I wanted to what is called the constitution of Ergland. hear wbat they would say to it; and partie I earnestly hope, that this subject will una cularly what the IVigs would say, those fine dergo an ample discussion. It is of infinitely old boys, those “ champions of our rights," , greater importance to the people of England, as a correspondent in my last (whom I shall than all the questions about commerce and answer in my next) calls them. General the law of natiens, which have cost the Fitzpatrick spoke for the whole, I suppose ; bonourable members so many hard nights' and now, I should ihink, that the friends of work during the present session, and which Sir Francis Burdett may set their minds have caused the printing of more papers at rest as to the support that he is to than any map living could read in a year, receive from the Wbigs. I have before though he went over them with the volubility observed upon the alteration, which of a law-stationer's cle:k. the increased state of the arniy his PORTUGUESE Merchants. I lose mot made in regard to the prerogative in question. a moment in ence.vouring to put the public When the whole of the peace establishment upon its guard against an attempt, which, was not above ten thousand men, there was according to a paragraph in the Courier, of no danger in the prerogative; but, now, the 15th instant, this description of persons when the number of commissioned officers is are preparing to make upon the taxes. It is more than ten ihonsand; when one can there stated, that they have had a meeting scarcely walk a hundred yards, in any street at the London Tavern, and have appointed a of any town, without rubbing against an. committee to wait upon the Secretary of othcer of the army; when no small part of State, in order to obtain indeninification for the members of boh houses of parliainent their losses, in their precipitate fiigat from are officers of the army ; and when there is Lisbon.---- 1 bis is intolerable. What! are scarcely a family of any note in the whole we to be taxed to pay for the losses, which kingdom that has not soine relation an of- they have incurred in trade ? · Do we suffer ficer in the army, surely such a prerogative a bookseller, or a printer, to come to us must be very dangerous. England is now a for losses, which he may have sustained by military country; it is so professed to be by fire ? As well night we indemnify the the ministry and the parliament; and, if this farmer for his losses by the sheep-rot or the be so, and if the king has the absolute turnip-fly. - Why did they not insure ? power of dispossessing, at his pleasure, and If Ibey could not do that, why did they not without reason assigned, every officer of the come away sooner? They had plenty of army of his means of existence as well as of notice. In short, this is as impudent as the his character, of whiat sort, I ask, is the go- application of The adventurers to Buenos vernment of England ?-Colonel Duckett's Ayres, and worse of it cannot be said observation, that the proposition refused to Upon one condition I would grant them inplace confidence in “ a sovereign, who, of deinnification. I would make each indiviko ali others best deserved it," was, to be dual give an account of his profits, since he sare, of great weight. Yes, without doubt, began trade with Portugal. Those protics be shold then pay into the exchequer. 1 to believe that they must be productive of would then give him as much as he could the most ruinous effects. Your petitioners have earned. in the capacity of a labouring | are duly sensible of the necessity of making man, from the time he began to trade with every sacrifice of personal interests, to proPortugal until the present time, deducting , mote the strength and resources of the counthe sum necessary for his support as'a labour. i try in the present extraordinary crisis of ing nan, during that space. If he bad public affairs; and if the total change intro. made no profits, I would advance him out of duced into the whole coinmercial system of the taxes, the amount of 12 shillings a week
12 shillings a week this country, and of the world, by the orfor a year, or, which would be much better, ders of council, could be conducive to so de. perhaps, send him, at once, to the parish, sirable an object ; your petitioners, great as if he were unable to work. --- What in their losses must be, would subunit without sufferable, what outrageous impudence! | a murmur; butunderstanding that these orders A set of nien leave their own country, | are principa:ly, if not wholly, recommended go to another to carry on a lucrative trade, by an opinion, that they will prove beneficontinue in that trade for years, and, at cial to the commercial interests of this coun. last, when they can stay no longer, when try, they feel it to be their duty, humbly they can derive no longer any pronts from to represent their conviction, that this opi. a trade, for the support of which their | nion is founded in error ; and that if the country has dearly paid in armaments and / prayer of their petition be granted, they subsidies, home they come and demand | shall be able to prove, that they must be indemnification for the loss they have sus. | productive of the most fatal consequences tained, in consequence of having remained to the interests, not only of your petitioners, to the last moment !
but of the commerce and manufactures of The American Merchant, whose letter
the empire at large.--Your petitioners will came too late to be noticed, without great
abstain from enforcing, by any details, their inconvenience, shall see his letter and my apprehension, that these measures are likely answer, in the next number. In the mean to interrupt our peace with the United States while, I think, he will regard it but fair to
of America ; our intercourse with which, give me his name, in consequence of the
at all times valuable, is infinitely more, so base imputation contained in the last para
since we are excluded from the continent graph of his letter. Whether he send
of Europe. To this only remaining branch his name or not, however, his letter shall of our foreign intercourse, we must now be inserted.
look for a demand for our manufactures, Bolley, 171h. March, 1808.
for many of the most important materials
for their support ; and for supplies of pro: COBB ETT'S
visions and naval stores, necessary for our
subsistence and defence.--Your petitioners Parliamentary Debates.
feel assured that they will be able to prove The Third number of Voi. X. is ready for to the satisfaction of your hon. house, that delivery. Complete sets from the com the neutrality of America has been the mencement in the year 1803, niay be bad means of circuiating to a large amonyt, artiof R. 'Bagshaw, Brydges Street, Covent cles of the proeluce and manufactures of this Garden, and of J. Budd, Pall Mall. : country, in the dominions of our numerous
*** All Communications for the above enemies, to which we have no direct access, Work, if sent to the Publishers in due time,'-That ihe annual value of British manufac• will be carefully attended ro.
tures exported to the United Siaies, exceeds
ten millions sterling : and that as our con• - AMERICAN MERCITANE PETITION.' sumption of the produce of that country
Duted 10th March, 1808 —The petition 'falls far short of that annount, the only means of the undersigned merchants, manufac of paying us must arise from the consumpturers and others, of the city of London, inte tion of the produce of America in other rested in the trade with the United States
couwtries, which the operation of the or of America, humbly sheweth : That your ders in council must, interrupt, and in post petitioners conteniplute with the greatest instances totally destroy --That be peos anxiety, and apprehension the alarming cc. ple of America, even if they remain, at peace sequences witli which they are threatened with us, must by a want of demand for their from certain orders in council, purporting to produce, and by the general distress qur beisured " for the protection of the trade and measures "must occasion, bę disabled from navişntion of Great Britain ; but on which, 1 paying their debts to this country, , which they are induced, aur mature consideration, 1 inay fairly be estimated to amount to the
enormoiis som of 12' millions sterling :- Claims on American Debtor's (Vol. X. p. That the neatrality of America, so far from 149, 297). I am donbiful whether to attribeing injurious to the other commercial in) bute this reported Speech to the Chacellor terests of Great Britain, has promoted ma of the Exchequer, or to the errors of the reterially their prosperity :--That the produce porter, but which soever it may be, the tenof our colonies in the West Indies, of our dency of the passage I shall notice is a tit. empire in the Eait, and of our fisheries on subject for reprehension, whether we consithe banks of Newfoundland, has frequently der the charge against the Boar 1 of Commisfound a foreign market by this means; and sioners, or the false statement respecting - That by the destruction of the neutrality the conduct of the merchants --The obserof the only remaining neutral state, all pos vations to which I refer, as reported in the sibility of intercourse with the rest of the Morning Post of the 11th of Feb, arose out world being removed, trade cannot possibly of the subject of the arrangement with the be benefited, but must necessarily be an Bank, and are as follou's: “Bitih Connihilated. --Your petitioners feeling as they “ mittee was in error in including in this do most sensibly with their fellow subjects, £475,000 part of £600,000 placed in the pressure of a war in which their com " the Bank, in virtue of an arrangement merce has principally been aimed at by the " with the United Siates of Anierica. enemy, would scorn to plead their distress " Though the claimants on this fund may in recommendation of measures inconsistent " not have been as prompt in coming forwith the honour and substantial interests of "ward with demands as lefore, it was in their country ; but they humbly rely upon " the power of the trustees to test the money the wisdoon of the legislature that this dis- “ in Erchiegier Bills, for the benetit of the tress shall not be increased by our own er- “ claimants, whenever they should come rors, and they confidently believe, that, if “ forward."--It will be necessary, Mr. they are permitted to illustrate' by evidence Cobhet:, that I trace the origin of the Claim the facts they are liere to state, and to cx. we have, cot upon the Board of Commisplain many others which they shall here reo sioners alone, but upon the nation, to repel frain from enumerating, they cannot wil this attack upon our want of promptitude, to establish the conviction with which they and that, I therefore travel to the comare so strongly impressed ;_That the or- mencement of the revolutionary war with ders of council are founded on the most America. It is not my intention to sweil mistakey opinions of the commercial in-1 my present letter beyond the limits actually terests of the empire, and must be particu. necessary in the recital of our wrongs in the larly fatal to those of your petitioners.- | communication of the unprecedented treatYour petitioners therefore pray, that they ment we have received, by far worse than may be heard by themselves or council at that extended to very outcasts of society. I the bar of this hon. house, and be permit- shall briefly touch upon our situation from ted to produce evidence in support of the the year 1775 to the peace in 1783, and as allegations of their petition ; or that this hon. briefly state the sufferings we have underhouse will examine into the nature and ex- / gone from 1753 to the present time. At the tent of their grievances in any mode which time of the commencement of the war in ruay appe:r advisable, with a view of afford- 1775, the American colonies stood indebted ing sach relief as this hon, house in its wis | to the British merchants 24,000,000 stel. dom may think, proper.--And your peti- ling and upwards, which were withheld tioners will ever pray:
from them during the war, and which it was
expected would not be readily discharged 1 -CLATANTS ON AMERICA,
upon the cessation of hostilities, and the Sir, An aspersion upon the character | consequent peace. This conclusion is eviof the merchants having Clains' under the dent from the stipulation the administration Convention with America, which appeared of this country in 1783, when the treaty of in the Morning Post of the ilth of Feb. in peace was agitated, deemed it proper to irthre Report of a Speccb which that paper has | sist upon, and which was adopred, viz. the given as the Speech of the Chancellor of the 4th article in these words, “It is agred Exchequer, renders it necessary that the pub " that creditors on either side, shall meet lic's hould be undeceived, and which I shall " with no lawful impediment to the recoattempt, as well as endeavour to do justice to " very.of the full value in sterling money, myself, in common with my brother claim- “ of all bona fide debts heretofore contractants, notwithstanding iny increased age and | ed;" and which not only included debts infirmities, since I last addressed some obser due at the commencement of hostilities in vations to you on the subject of the Board of 1775, but also those which had been incur
red up to the day on which the treaty of single attempt was ventured upon by the lepeace was made. The right upon our part gislature or judiciary of America, or the loto insist upon the Americans paying those cal government of the respective states, to debts which certain laws of the respective lo- carry into effect the siipulations of the 4th cal legislatures of each state in which indivi article of the treaty of peace, for several duals stood indebted to Britain, interdicted years after the peace; nor were the doors during one period of the war, was acknow- of the courts of law opened to the reception ledged, and our privilege to sue for recovery of cases of claims on the part of British creof our demands was considered to be re- ditors, in pursuance of the provisions of that vived, and not a doubt' remained among the article, although the Lord Advocate declared principal part of y brother njerchants, but the communication from his constituents to that justice would be impartially, regularly, be highly favourable. Yet, I know, and I and without delay administered to 119 ; so am sure, that the merchants of Glasgow bad much were they impressed wiih this idea, reason to agree with me soon after his declathat the committee of merchants in London, ration, that the debts paid “ were merely created for the purpose of superintending balances of a few shillings, and even that the interests of their constituents trading to those were only paid for the purpose of deAmerica, expressed their extreme satisfaction coying the merchants into ill placed confiat the stipulated provisions of the fourth ar dence of their minutely exact conduct, and ticle of ihe treaty of peace; but hastily and to induce them to ship fresh cargoes of goods, rashly, indeed publicly declared their full | impressed as they would be with the scru. conviction, that the American courts of ju- pulous exactness of their old debtors, as dicature would instantly disperse even hand well as that the “ securities" taken were of ed justice to the British creditors. Thal men no more avail than the original debts, beinured to difficulties, wants, and depriva cause whatever objections there might be to tions, and accustomed to the frequent exer the accounts current would follow the bond, cise of evasions and subterfuges, as the and it is going too far to contend, that the American debtors had submitted to during 8 mere act of giving a bond is of equal impor. years miseries of war, would instantlychange tance with the actual payment of a debt; their acquired habits to pursue the path of | although I know full well that such doctrine honour and honesty, was, I think, rather has been always the creed of American more than could be believed by the most cre, debtors, who when pressed by their British dulous of tlae committee. This committee, creditors for, payment, invariably have obhowever, expressed their conviction of the served, “I will pay you with my bond," future correct proceedings of the American and deem the payment of the debt to be debtors, and in which sentiment they were made from the moment the bond is given. joined by the Glasgow merchants, who went This sort of payment, however, is not of the even further in their expressions of satisfac. nature that would pass current upon the tion at the stipulations of the 4th article of Exchange of London, to enforce which the treaty of peace, and their belief of the would take just as much time as would the correct proceedings which would take place original debt, unaccompanied with the sounder it in the American courts, and de | lemnity of wax aud printed paper, and still clared that “ every thing has been procured liable to every objection that might be made for them which could have been expected, / to the accounts currept, for the balance of when all circumstances are dispassionately | which the band might have been taken. In considered;" and even one of our legislators one part alone of the Lord Advocate's obsersuffered himself to be equally deceived into a | vations I agree, for not only did some of the similar belief with his constituents; I mean | Glasgow merchants hope that the Americans the Lord Advocate, who in the debates uponi | would be made to pay their debts, but, I the provisional articles of the treaty of peace, believe, nearly the whole of us; the events after adopting their sentiments with consi- / which occurred, however, put an end to all derable stage effect, drew a letter from his expectations, whatever our wishes might pocket, when on the floor of the House of have been. During the war a law was Commons, (I was present at the time) and passed in America, compelling British creobserved, " I have a letter from the mer- / ditors, factors, and agents to leave the chants of Glasgow, requesting me to return colonies of America, and innumerable other thanks to ministers for the care they have | impediments were also created, to prevent a taken of their interests in the negotiation, British creditor from recovering his debts. for that some had been paid, some secured, One particularly in 1777, sequestering Briand some were in hopes of being paid the tish property, and which impediments were debts due by America to them.” Sir, not a / at length completed by the total interdiction