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trusted that the claim would be acceded to, founded as it was in justice.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed that an hon. Member opposite (Mr. Sheridan) laboured under some mis, apprehension as to the eight ships which were mentioned in the report, but were never brought into an Englith harbour. The fact was, that these tips had born the English flag, and had been employed in the Mediterranean during part of the year 1993. Atihe time the other thips were deltroyed by our flict, these eight vefsels were destroyed by the baiseries of the enemy. Under these circumstances they had been included in the general account; but he thought it necessary to mention, that the whole sum charged for them was not much above seven thousand pounds As 10, the application of the money, he wished), the House to understand that the whole sum would not be issued in the first instance. It was meant that only such a sum should be issued as was sufficient for meeting the demands made out by principals or their relatives. The rest of the sum yoied would remain in the hands of the treasury vill wanted. He had only further to add, that the present measure was one solely originating wih ihose now presiding over his Majesty's Governmeni, As far as Lord Hood was concerned, every thing was done in the face of day; and whatever blame aitached to the measure rested entirely with Ministers. : He resisted any further delay as quite unnecessary. · Mr. Bankes supported the grant generally, but was against giving any allowance for the eight ships which had been re. ferred to, or indeed for any other pari of the cltimales which was not fully made out in the satisfaction of the House.
Mr. Jolinstone denied hat Lord Hood had it in bis power 10 have taken the French fleet at Toulon, which was got pofTe sion of solely by a capitulation with the inhabitants of the town. He did not admit that there was any thing on the part of Lord Hood which entitled him to so large a remuneration as thirty Thousand pounds, particularly at a mo. ment when our annual expenditure exceeded fifty millions. He declared that he could not, on the grounds alleged, agree to the grant which had paffed the Committee.
- Mr. Alexander supported the grant, on the grounds of equity, policy, and expediency.
Mr. Burroughs was in favour of the resolution; the proceedings adverted to were part of the system of warfare, and surely, it was not for that reason the noble Admiral should lose the right which attached to him in that capaciiy. On princi: ples of public justice, he concurred with the arguments of the right bón, and learned Genileman on the floor; it was ciear in point of law, that the King's prerogative ailached to such captures as those under consideration; nay, under such circumstances, the king might make a grant of them by his own authority; but Ministers coining in Parliament as they had done, were highly delerving of app:obarion.
Dr. Laurence argued in support of the amendment. He af first adverted to the magnitude of the sum. He asked when it was that due reward was not given to those who merited it, in the way in which the noble Admiral did? He was ready to agree as to the King's right of granting, in such a case, by virtue of his prerogative; but the case brought before Parliament as it was, they should have some better ground to go upon ihan a report of the Privy Council. He claimed as a meinber of Parliament, that some means thould be given of exercising their judgment upon that which they were called upon to grant. He could refer to every case which occurred from the reign or Queen Anne downwards. It was unnecessary to have adverted to the repeated votes of thanks by that House to the noble Lord in question. He duly appreciated his meritorious conduct on the occasion ; the more so, as he, in a great degree, proceeded upon his own responsibility. The words of the Privy Council were, that some due rewards should be given ; but if Parliament were to apportion those, fome means should be afforded them of judging what was proper. In this instance there was ceriainly a claim to equitable reward, and he wished it might appear on the face of the thing. He was averse to a general sweeping grant. He objected to the present mode of proceeding, at the same time he considered this affair as by no means a personal ininillerial question; neither had it any concern with the lale Administration. He believed it refulter froin an application to the equity of the Crown, &c. as be. ing originally grounded in 110 ftri&t legal right.
" The torney General observed, that in such a case, che Kirg, bi his prerogative, might have given the thips in the first instance to the captors; but in consequence of the mode of proceeding which it was deemed proper to adupi, che value thereof was propoied to be given. Under the circumstances of this case, it was a matter of indifference, wheiher the poslelion was achieved by capture or not, as it was of that Z z 2
nature that was not diftributable under the prize act, so that no right vefted in the captor. He knew of no instance since the reign of Queen Anne, where a liberal reajuneration had not been given in such cases. In the present a number of years, 11 or 12, had elapsed fince the event, and the King, in his munificence and liberality, was pleased to make a grant of the whole. All the circumstances were under the confideration of the Crown, and it was the roval decision that the whole thould be granted.
The question being called for, the fame was put, un which the amendment was negatived; and the vesolution of the Commitee of Supply, that a sum not exceeding 265,3361. be granted, &c. was forinally ratified by the Houle.
Mr. Dent notified bis intention to move on Monday se'nnight, for leave to bring in a bill to amend the act for rail. ing the sum of 18 millions by way of annuity, known by the name of the loyalty loan.
The hon. Gentleman then presented a petition from çertain barley growers in the county of Lincoln, which was ordered to lie on the table.
Adjourned till Thursday next.
mmiliceendments called 'ould be
HOUSE OF LORD S.
THURSDAY, APRIL 5. The Earl of Westmeath, one of the Irish representative Peers, and Lord Grey de Howie, were tworn and took their seats.
Mr. Fowler, from the commissioners of the customs, presented an account of the balances and arrears due from ihe several collectors at the ports in England, on the 5th of Janury last, as far as the fanie could be made up. Or. dered to lie on the table.
The bills upon the table were forwarded in their respective stages.
The order for committing the Scotch bank bill was dif. charged, and renewed for the next day.
The Earl of Dartmouth reported his Majesty's answer to a recent address of their Lordihips, respecting the production of certain papers, the effe&t of which was, that his Majesty would give directions accordingly.
VOLUNTEER REGULATIONS BILL. The order of the day being read, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee upon ibis bill,
Lord Grenville observed, that with respect to a very important fubject, forining a part of the prefent bill, and which had undergone some discussion previous to the recess, namely the prerogative of his Majeity to call out the population of the country, it was not his intention to offer any oblervations upon it in the Committee, as he proposed on a future day to bring in a hill upon the subject.
Their Lordihips then went into a Committee upon the bill, Lord Wallingham in the chair.
The consideration of the preamble being postponed, the Committee proceeded to dilcuss the clautes and provisions of the bill, and leveral amendments were proposed by Lord Grenville. One of theic related to the exemptions. The noble Lord observed, it should be clear and explicit, how far the exemptions, in certain cases, were meant to be cxtended. This was by no means the cale, as the bill then lood; as, to qualify for these, it was necessary that returns of certain attendances at exercise, &c. Thould be made at three distinct periods of the year: the first of those was on or before the ift of January in each year, and the last was on the 21st of September. How a return could be made before the 1st of January in each year, was to him inexplicable, yet so it was provided in the bill; and with re.' fpect to those volunteers who did not attend the days of exercise, &c. until after the 21st of September, as numbers of the working people could not, on account of the har. veft, or other necessary occupations, great doubts obtained as the law at present stood. With a view to obviate these doubts, and to place that part of the measure under foine Systematic regulation, he moved an amendment to the cffect, that no volunteers included in the returns made between the ilt of May 1803, and the ilt of May 1804, Thould be liable to any ballot which took place before the Ist of August 1804.
Lord Iławkesbury observed, that what fell from the noble Lord chietiy retened to the principle of the bill, and not to any part which could regularly fall under the consideration of a Committee. The operation of the bill was for the most part prospective ; its object was to repeal the exifting acts upon the subject ; and to provide a system for the future regulation of the volunteer corps. He dilapproved of the noble Lord's amendment.
The so as to difficulty i
Lord Harrowby made fome observations upon what he considered as the total want of lyftem or confittency in the conduct of Ministers with respect to the volunteer corps, and adverted to certain parts of the bill in illustration of his pofition.
Lord King supported what had fallen from Lord Gren. ville upon the fubject.
The Lord Chancellor vindicated the conduct of Government upon the subject in question. The noble Lord also took occasion to vindicate the conduct of the law officers of the Crown, with respect to the opinions given, &c. and with which undue licence had been taken; he did not nean. in parliamentary debates, but in pamphlets, and other modes of public discussion, where there respectable Gentlemen had not an opportunity of defending themselves, He thought this rather hard. He observed, that on the occation alluded to, the former course of practice had been followed. They should consider the impracticability of framing an act so as to meet every possible case, and to ob. viate every contingent difficulty. He remarked upon the far greater facility to find fault than to amend.
Lords Grenville and Harrowby spoke in explanation, and severally disclaimed an intention in what they had said, to reflect in the flightest degree upon his Majesty's prefent law officers : the latter Peer professed the warmest personal friendship for the learned Attorney General.
Lord Hawkifhury thought the course adopted with respect to taking the opinion of his Majesty's law officers, as to the construction of the acts, was preferable to promulgating what might be the interpretation of Ministers thereof, and much more satisfactory to individuals.
The amendment proposed by Lord Grenville was negatived. 1
On the clause which went to authorize his Majesty to accept the services of additional corps of yeomanry or volunteers, a discullion took place.
Lord Grenville contended for the impolicy, in the present circumstances of the country, of increasing the number of volunteer corps, or of the number of men to which they now actually amount. He thought, fo far from entertaining an idea of increasing the number of corps, a provision should be made for incorporating smaller bodies, so as to render the force in general moie susceptible of systematic regulation. Under thcsc impressions he propoled ihe omilfion of the words in the clause which enacted as above.
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