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was fure no blame could arrach either to the Executive Government, or to his Majesty's Commander in those feas upon that account. In fact, Admiral Rainier was apprised of the probability of the recommencement of the war when the French Squadron arrived at Pondicherry, and it was actually under consideration to detain Admiral Linois, when he was so fortunate as to make his escape. .
The Earl of Carnarvon-Ifthere was no argument adduced but what may be drawn from the unwillingness in Government to produce papers whose dates of transınillion and receprion are the principal objects desired, and against which the lightest objection is not pretended, I should strongly be of opinion that the House should require their production ; but more substantial grounds to support my noble Friend's motion cannot exist than that of a general prevalent opinion that Admiral Rainier. was left till the 12th of August, without an official communication of the Gituation in which this country was involved, and without instructions for his conduct, and that this omislion enabled Admiral Linois to escape with his squadron from the fituarion in which he :night have been detained. The noble Secretary of Stare has sufficiently confirmed the supposed fact, by confining his affirmation so the information which he says Admiral Rainier had of the rupfure with France, without staring it to be official; and cerrainly it was not accompanied with instructions how to act ; for the noble Secretary infers the knowledge of Admiral Rainier, from the uncertainty and doubt prevailing in his mind how he should act, under the circumstances of probable hoftility, Admiral Linois' squadron being in his power. The result of this is, that report has probably accurately stated the fact, that Admiral Rainier received private information of a rupture, long before he received official disparches, which were sent by a frigate impeded by its convoy, and directed to touch at various places in its way; and that he did not receive official information and instructions till Admiral Linois had received official information, and in consequence departed suddenly and privately at midnight. This, if true, is a grofs neglect, which merits the most serious inquiry. The capture of ihe French fleet commanded by Admiral Linois must have been of ihe utmost importance. The mischicf which our trade may suffer from their escape is the probable consequence of this criminal neglect ; and strong reports exist that our India trade has greatly fuffered ; other mischiefs which may follow are incalculable. It is admit
ted ted by Ilie noble Secretary that private information did arrive in time, but not ot sufficient authority to enable Admiral Rainier to have detained Linois' squadron in pori. It is clear from his acknowledgeddoubts and uncertainty,that he had noinstructions how toad, which occasioned his uncertainty and the loss of that advantage. That Admiral Linois received his official information sooner, his escape and a midnight depariure pioves. · Private information received (which could have no other ef.
fett iban strong and probable report) is a proof that official · information might have been received ; and privale or even
official information received, which left him in uocertainly how to act, is a proof that no proper instructions were fent. I am therefore fully satisfied, that the motion of my noble Friend thould be fupported, and that the ministerial motive for withholding the information is the criminal matter they will expose.
Lord Harrowby declared, that on the first view of the mat. ter he was inclined to think she motion not sufficiently war.
ranted. Froin the grounds, however, which had fince been · ftared in support of ii, he could not help giving it his decided support. The House shen divided on Lord Carlisle's motion :
Majority against Ministers,
IRISH MILITIA. Lord Hobart, previous to the second reading of ihe bill 10 enable his Majesty to accept the services of the Irish militia, nioved that his Majesty's message on the loyal and spirited offers of the Irish militia should be read. His Lordfhip then declared, that he presumed there would be no difference of opinion in that House, with respect to the principle which gave rise to the present bill, and which, carried to a further extent, would sandion the policy of occasional interchanges of ihe militia of the iwo countries. But that was not the question now before them. The prudence or neces. sity of such reciprocity was not now tò be discussed ; but as it appeared on the face of the bill before the House, Thev were called upon merely to determine, whether they would
there of opinione to the presion the policyjes. But thanecer
or would not enable bis Majesty to avail himself of the spirited offers that had been made to him from motives of loyalty to his person, and of kindness and attachment to the welfare and interests of this part of the empire. As he presumed there could be no difference of sentiment on that point, however there may be on others, he would no longer derain their Lordships, but move that the bill be read a second time.
Lord Boringdon felt himself under the necesity of opposing the second reading of the bill, upon many considerations, but principally two, which in his mind were decisive against the measure. One was, that it would tend, in some mea'ure, to subvest the principles upon which the mililja force was originally established ; and the other was, that it was withdrawing a force which, however inconsiderable in iifelf, was necellary for the defence of Ireland, and could afford no material addition to the force' already collected for the defence of Great Britain. His Lordship was no enemy to the principle that all parts of the united kingdom thould aslift each other reciprocally, but he would rather fee that dispofurion manifested by other ineasures than a mere interchange of iheis several militia forces. He wilhed really to see the principles of the union fairly acted upon. It was now four years since that great political change had been effected, and what, he would ask, had the Government done for Ireland ? If he could argue from certain facts, when he considered the correspondence that had passed between a noble Peer of that House (Lord Redesdale) and the Eail of Fingal, and that The former noble Lord still remained in a high official situation in that country, he was justified in entertaining some doubis of the intentions of Ministers towards it. If Ministers approved of the conduct of that noble Lord, why not declare lo ? If they did not, it was incumbent upon them to disavow the opinions he had promulgated, and to recall him. But this, however desirable in point of justice or of policy, he despaired of seeing accomplished, when he recol. lected that the great viral and elsential principle upon which ihe present Ministers held their official situations was oppofte rion on the only measure that could give tatisfaction or perinanent tranquillity to Ireland.
The Duke of Gunterland would occupy but a very small portion of their Lordships' time. He rose for the purpose or expressing his approbation of the bill, as tending to eitablith Vol. II. 1803-4.
that principle, which he hoped to see, within a short time, extended much further. It was his anxious wish, that the two countries, which had but one common interest, should, wheneyer it was necessary, interchange their militias. Since they were become one united kingdom by law, he trusted that they would not be separate either in sentiment or practice, He thought no more diftin&tion, in any respect what. ever, should exist between them, than between any two neighbouring counties of Great Britain ; and, therefore, as this measure would tend to establish that cordiality and acquaintance between them, that was so desirable in every point of view, it had his hearty concurrence.
The Marquis of Heaufort supported the bill, and expressed his regret, that the great Minister who had brought about the measure of union, was not at present at the head of his Majesty's councils.
Earl Fitzwilliam opposed it, as interfering with the principles upon which the mililia of England was originally formed, and by which they were governed, and as derogatory from the honour of the nation, which possefling 380,000 volunteers, 70,000 milizia, and 44,000 infantry, with a due proportion of artillery and cavalry, still was represented to be under the necesity of accepting lhe services of 10,000 lrich militia.
The Duke of Norfolk would vote against the measure upon constitutional grounds, alihough he acquitted Ministers of any blame whatever in the transaction, which was in some measure, he had reason to suppose, forced upon them. . He could not concus in the with of a noble Marquis for the return to power of a Member of another House, much less in his opinion of his merits as a minister. He thought that the constitution had been more violated, the country more oppressed and impoverished by taxes, and the state of Europe reduced to more disgrace and humiliation by his measures, than by the rathness or incapacity of all the administrations that had preceded him.
The Earl of Limerick supported the bill, and retorted · with much force the arguments advanced by a noble . Earl, that the practice of volunteering tended to countenance that most dangerous of all principles to a free Go. vernment, the principle of deliberation by armed bodies. He was sure, when the noble Lord had made that observation, that the extraordinary resolutions entered
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into by a number of militia colonels at the Thatched House, in which the noble Earl bore so conspicuous a part, did not offer theinselves to his recollection. He could see no difference between deliberation by commanders, and delia beration by common soldiers. The bill had his concurrence, because it would promote that which was the earnest with of his heart, the full political identity of both parts of the kingdom.
Lord Carleton readily admitted, that such was the fate of defence in which this part of the united kingdom was placed, that there did not exist any absolute necessity for the transfer of 10,000 militia from Ireland. Yet he was decidedly of opinion, that when a voluntary offer of service was made, like that which had occurred in the present in., stange, it should not be rejected. It would, in fact, mate. rially tend to the consolidation of the act of union, by showing the mutual confidence with which different parts of the same empire were animated. With respect to the ob fervations which had fallen from a noble Lord, on the correspondence that had passed between two noble Lords in Ireland, one of whom filled a most important office, he had merely to remark, that such comments were not warranted by the incidental mention of the correspondence, since it was not fairly before their Lordships, and could not be made he groundwork of a charge.
The Lord Chancellor felt himself peculiarly called upon to address a few words to their Lordships in confe. quence of the allusion which had been noticed. The cha. racter of that noble Lord, with whom it was one of the greatest pleasures of his life to live on terms of the strictest intimacy, stood as high for honour and integrity as any other in the united kingdom ; and whatever observations the correspondence might have given rise to, he was confident that there was nothing in any of the circumstances which could in the slightest degree contribute to injure the distinguished reputation his noble friend was universally acknowledged to poffefs. It was, he could not avoid saying, one of the characteristics of the lines, that a correspondence which in former instances could not, uniefs stolen from the pocket of either of the noble Lords, have found its way into the world, Inould now be made pubiicas a matter of course. It was also extraordinary, thiat a charge Thould be preferred against his nuble friend, upon grounds which were clearly surreptitious, and which could not, with any propriety or consistency, furnith a i X 2