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whether the ways and means were likely to bear out the propriety of the present measure. By voting lo large an issue so early in the session, the public would lose a great share of the advantages which would otherwise arise upon the nego. ciation of the loan, which he thought thould be much larger in proportion than the Exchequer bills, which ought to be narrowed in their issue. He owned he had not had time to look accurately into the papers upon the table, but those were the observations which-struck his mind at the moment.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, that the hon. Gentleman not having accurately examined the papers accounted for the error into which he had fallen; for if he had accurately examined them, he would have found, that out of the whole outstanding ruin, 10,663,600l. was provided for upon the malt tax of 1802,1803, and 1804; the property and personal tax of 1803 and 1804; and the wartaxes of the latter year, leaving fourteen millions to account for, of which three millions were locked up in the Bank, provided for upon the taxes of 1806, and thus leaving a refidue extant of only eleven millions, of which one million and a half was to be held back by the Bank, as already stated ; and consequently the sum to be raised was only pine millions and a balf, for that amount of Exchequer bills actually afloat. He must entirely differ from the hon. Gentleman's argument, that the loan should be great, and the issue of Exchequer bills small; for the latter was a very important resource to Government, and so popular at market as never to have been at a discount. The true proportion must depend entirely upon the quantity at market, and the preference the public gave. This he conceived an answer to the hon. Member; and with respect to the period of the year at which it was proposed to make the issue, he conceived the hon. Member equally in error, when he asserted that it diftered totally from the precedents of former years, as on the sth of April 1801, there were two inillions of Exchequer bills more afloat than at the present moment. This very day too the Bank had issued 700,000l. for the purpose of discharging outstanding Exchequer bills of 1803 ; and it was therefore necessary to keep up the supply at market upon a branch of the public securities so much in the public preference. .
A conversation arose between Mr. Rose and Mr. Vansittart, in which the former wished for av account of the various issues of Exchequer bills fince 1801, with the aids on credit on which they were voted ; and Mr. Vansittart stated those iffues with the aids.
hohich it waer equallye prec
The resolutions for granting 8,000,000l. and 1,500,000l. to be raised by loan on Exchequer bills were then agreed to.
On the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was agreed, that the charges of the pay and clothing of the militia of Great Britain for one year ending the 5th of March 1805, he defrayed out of the monies arising from the consolidated fund. Also, the allowances to adjutants and serjeant majors of the militia of Great Britain, and the allowances to fubaltern officers of the said militia, for the same period. Similar resolutions were agreed to relative to the pay and clothing and allowances to the officers of the Irish militia.
The report was ordered to be received the next day.
Mr. V'anfittart presented an account of all the additional charges on the national debt, loans, and annuities; and also an account of the estimated produce of the duties for defraying the charges of the same for the year ending the 5th of Jan. 1804. He statéri, that the difficulties created by the consolidation of the duties had impeded the making up of this account, which was still inperfest, as the account from Scot: land had not been received, but every exertion would be used to complete it. Ordered to lie on the table,
Mr. Rofe oblerved, that from the accounts before the House, it was impossible to form an opinion of the exact state of the revenue, particularly with respect to the produce of the taxes postponed in 1803, and paid in 1804. The right hon. Gentleman had adverted to this point in the early part of the evening, and not being satisfied with the explanations then given, now made a motion for additional accounts to elucidate this point; but being assured by Mr. Vanlittart that every account that was usual, and fome that were not presented in any former year, were now either before the House, or in preparation, and to be laid on the table probably the next day, he withdrew his motion.
Mr. Rose then inoved, that there be laid before the House, an account of all Exchequer bills, issued from 5th April 1798, up to the present time, shewing the amount in each year, and distinguishing each issue, and the funds on which it was chargeil. Ordered.
Mr. Dampier was heard as counsel on the second reading of the Aylesbury election bill. The bill was read a second time, and committed for Friday se'nnight.
The Marquis of Titchfield, by assenting to the commitment of the bill, wished to be understood not to preclude hinself from opposing it in a future stage. It was ordered on the motion of Sir George Cornewall, that
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no new writ be issued for the election of a member for Ayles. · bury, in the room of Mr. Bent, till Monday, 14th May.
The Dublin police bill was read a third time, and passed.
Mr. Vanlittart presented several accounts relating to his Majesty's foreign settlements. Ordered to lie on the table.
Mr. Calcraft put off till Monday, in the Committee of Supply, the motion of which he had given notice for Friday, reJative to the pay and clothing of the volunteers.
Mr. Kinnaird put off till the same day a motion relative to the half-pay of officers engaged in volunteer corps, of which he had given notice for Friday.-Aajourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
• THURSDAY, APRIL 19. Counsel was heard in continuation for the appellants in the chancery appeal, Richardson against the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Postponed till Wednesday.
The bills on the table were forwarded. MOTION FOR DISPATCHES RELATING TO HOSTILITIES,
SENT TO INDIA. The Earl of Carille observed, that as the fate of the country, as connected with the conduct of Ministers, must, at no very diftant day, be brought under their LordMips' consideration, he would not then trespass on their time by any observa:ions on that subject. He rose merely to make a motion for certain papers, to ihe production of which he did not apprehend Ministers would oppose any reasonable objections. He should therefore move without further preface, That an humble address be presenied 10 his Majesty, praying that he may give orders ihat the dates of all difpaiches transmitted either by land or sea, by Government to India, previous to his Majesty's message of the 10th of March 1803, be laid on the table for ihe information of their Lordlhips; and the dates also when they were received by the persons to whom they were severally addressed : and that the dates of the dispatches transmitted between ihat period and she commencement of hoftilivies, together with the dates of the receipt of such in India, be allo laid on the cable. · Lord Hawkesbury thought it his duty to resist the motion of the noble Earl, not that there could be any great objection to grant the information he seemed anxious to obtain, but that it was contrary to all precedent, and the constant practice
of the executive government. He would not deny but many occasions might arise, on which it would be imcumbent on Ministers to accede to propositions for the production of pub. lic documents. On all questions relating to the public revenue, to the application of the expenditure of that revenue, or to the magnitude and disposal of the public force, it was competent for any noble Lord to move for fuch papers as tended to explain them, and it would be indecorous in Mie nisters to oppose the production of them. But where no ground of accusation had been laid down, and where the motives for producing them were only to be discovered in vague and uncertain rumour, he thought it neither parliameniary nor prudent to trouble his Majesty with an address for such purposes ; he would therefore give his diffent to the motion of the noble Eail.
The Earl of Carlife could not agree with the noble Secre. tary of State as to the principle which he had laid down, that Ministers were to communicate or withhold informacion at their discretion, on all public occasions, except such as arose out of maliers thar were fairly before Parliament. They, the hereditary council of his Majesty, had a right to demand information, whenever the in:ereits of either the Sovereign or the State were concerned; and it was the duty of Ministers 10 communicate is, except the publicity of it might operate to the disadvantage of the public service. He would even maintain, in opposition to the noble Lord, that public rumour may be sometimes a good ground for requiring infor. marion. He asked, was ir noi notorious, that in all the circles, from the highest to the lowest in this country, it was ru. moured, and generally believed, that Ministers had been ex. tremely remiss in conveying intelligence to India of approach. ing hoftilities? It was easily to be ascertained, so negligent had ihey been in tliis respect, that information of the war had been received from England, by private merchanis in India, seventeen da:s before i he dispatches of Government arrived there. To what but this negligence, on the part of Govern. ment, was the escape of the French squadron at Pondicherry owing? Admiral Linois, with an inferior force, was at anchor within the British feet under the command of Admiral Rainier, and from some information he had received, he had cui bis cables, and was, perhaps, at this very moment, en. gaged in active and successful hoftility against some of the most valuable of our settlements in that part of the world. Surely if the English Admiral had been apprized of the probability, much
. less less the actual commencement of a war, he would, as it would have been his duty to have done, detained the whole of the French squadron. The public had a right to be fatisfied on this point, and therefore, unless Ministers produced some better arguments against his motion, he must persevere in it.
Lord Hawkifury must still perfift in opposing ihe motion ; however, he had no hesitation in saying, that pending the negociation, and previous to his Majesty's message, dir. patches had been sent to India with all possible celerity, and
by every means of communication, to apprize our naval and · military commanders there, of the state of it, and i he probable
resumption of hostilities. "His Majesty's Government, at least that deparıment of it, had also, in a subsequent period of the negociation, made similar communication ; and when hostilities actually commenced, they transmitted intelligence of it, by all means in their power, io India.
' Earl Spencer expressed much surprise at the determination of Ministers to oppose the motion of his noble Friend. They had, if he was well informed, and he drew his informacion from a source which, though not official, was, notwiibstanding, in his opinion, 100 authentic to be questioned, been guilty of unpardonable neglect in not conveying the earliest intelligence of the war to our settlements in India. The official dispatches were transınitted by a frigate which had to see a convoy, that was put under her protection, safe into Lisbon ; by which means an unavoidable delay of at least 16 or 18 days was produced. If he would credit authority he had no reason to dloubi, Admiral Rainier was not apprized, Din ihe 12th of August, of what had taken place in Europe on the 101h of March, full five inenths before. Suppose the circumstances of the iwo fleets had been different, and that Admiral Rainier, with an inferior force, had been anchored inside the French squadron, could any one imagine that Admiral Linois, on the 12th of August, on the night of which he slipped his cables, would have hesitated on the capture of the British squadron? There was certainly great blaine imputable to some quarter, and it was the duty of the House to examine it thoroughly. .
Lord Hobart opposed the motion, and maintained that there had been no negligence on the part of Ministers. The fri. gate which carried out dispatches, sailed direct for India, and made an extraordinary quick passage. Our commanders there had timely notice of ihe fate of affairs in Europe, and instructions for their conduct in case of the resumption of hoftilities. As to the escape of Admiral Linois' squadron, he