Изображения страниц

would not withdraw, as he was then about to move the resolution for continuing it.


Tuesday, March 14.

[MUTINY BILL.-Previous to the 2d reading of the Mutiny bill,


Mr. D. B. Daly said, he had that day re-moned. ceived instructions from his constituents, to [STATE OF THE NAVY.-Earl Darnley oppose the measure, but he should wait for rose for the purpose of submitting to their the bringing in of the bill.-The several re-lordships, agreeably to the notice he had solutions were then agreed to, and ordered given, a number of motions for the proto be reported to-morrow.-Adjourned. duction of papers, necessary for instituting a comparison between the late and present Boards of Admiralty. It was not his wish, in the present stage of the proceedings, to go into a wide field of discussion; sufficient opportunities would offer for that in a more The Marquis of Buckingham rose, and advanced stage of them. He would, at begged leave to call the attention of the present, confine himself to reading his moHouse to the innovations which had been tions, to the greater part of which be unmade on that bill since it was last before derstood no objections would be made, and their lordships, particularly in those clauses to make such comments on them as he by which the presidents of the regimental thought necessary, for explaining their tenCourts martial are required to be on oath their were two themselves, and to administer oaths to the great points to which he wished to direct other members of the court, and to the the attention of the house, and upon which -witnesses to be examined. The noble mar- he was chiefly anxious to obtain informaquis stated that it was not his intention, on tion. The first respected the deficiency of these grounds, to oppose the 2d reading of small craft; one, as their lordships might -the bill, but merely to call the attention of recollect, of the most serious accusations their lordships, and of the noble carl who against, the late naval administration; and forwarded the public business through this the next applied to the practice of contractHouse, to the alterations which he had no-ing for ships to be built in merchants' yards. ticed. He had at the same time to regret, With respect to the first point, he was inin common with the noble and learned lord formed, that a number of ships had been on the woolsack, the disagreeable situation in bought up for the king's service, which, in which that House often felt itself placed, of the opinion of many persons professionally either impeding the business of the nation, qualified to decide, and also of those who by interfering in bills to which, by the usage were appointed to command them, were toof parliament, any alteration made by them tally unfit for the particular line of service must prove fatal, or of passing bills which to which they were destined. All of those were grossly defective and objectionable. had been purchased at a most extravagant Lord Walsingham conceived that the ob-rate, and before the public had derived any -servations of the noble marquis were irre benefit from them, it was found necessary -gular and premature. He knew it was in that they should undergo ample repairs, the contemplation of the noble earl (Cam-which were effected upon terms even more dem) when he should come to move the extravagant than the original purchase. His 2d reading of the bill, to notice the altera- lordship said, he would read his motions, tions to which the noble marquis had alluded, and comment upon them as they occurred; The Earl of Camden having moved the the first was for an Account of all the Ships $2d reading of the bill, recapitulated the which have been purchased for his maj's different alterations which it had been deem. Navy, since 16th May, 1804, specifying -ed adviseable, to make on it. from whom, their age and tonnage; the valuation put on them by the officers of the Dock-yards, the sums paid for them, the expence of fitting them as ships of war in the merchant and King's yards, and of any alterations made in them since they were first fitted." To this, he understood, no objection was likely to be offered, and therefore he would not trouble their lordships with any observations on it. His next motion would be for "Copies of all letters and C



The Duke of Clarence said, it could by no means be supposed that it was his wish, at such a period, to object to the present bill. It was his intention, however, when the bill should be proposed to be committed, sto call the attention of the house to the al (terations which had now for the first time been introduced. He should therefore move that the house be summoned for the day on which the bill was meant to be committed.

The bill was then ordered to be committed to-morrow, and the house to be sum

representations which have passed between were a smaller number of men employed in the adiniralty and Navy Boards, and be- the king's yards on the 1st March, 1805, tween those boards and the commissioners than on the 1st March, 1804; the number or other officers of the Dock-yards, respecting at the latter period being 9336, whereas these ships; also of all representations from those employed at the commencement of their commanders, respecting their unfit- the present month amounted only to 3213, ness to perform the services of ships of war." being 123 less than the establishment at the If this last motion should be refused, as being same period last year. His next motion too general, he should have no objection to would be for "Á List of his maj.'s ships , omit any part of it, or to make any altera- which have been ordered to be repaired in tion in it that the noble viscount at the head the merchants' yard since 1st June, 1804." of the admiralty should require or suggest. He would next move for "A List of ships The letters which he was principally anxious of war ordered to be built or contracted for to obtain, were those froin the commanders from the above period, up to the present of the Hindostan and the Hyana, two ships time, specifying the dates of such orders or which had been taken into the service. One contracts, and the rate at which such conof those he understood to be an old West tracts have been made." If the workmen Indiaman, whose back had been broken, in the king's yards were properly classed, which was reported not fit for service, and there would be no occasion to build in the which, notwithstanding that representation, merchants' yards. In the former he underhad been purchased at an expence of some-stood that at present a 74-gun ship could be thing above 7,000l.-His next motion would built for 211. per ton; whereas, if he was be for "An Account of the expence of rightly informed, the contracts lately enarming of these ships, specifying the num-tered into with the merchant-builders aber, nature, and calibre of the guns, which mounted to the enormous sum of 361. per they were reported to be capable of carrying ton. Let the house and the country con.when they were purchased, and of any alte-trast the difference between those expences, rations which have been since made." This and then they would be enabled to form an . he understood would be conceded to him. idea of the provident management of the His next motion would be for "Copies of persons by whom the naval administration ail representations which have been made of the country was at present conducted.→ by the commanders of these ships on the He would next move for "An Account subject of their guns." As 'it was possible of the sums paid by the Navy Board, and to some objections might be urged against the whom, for the Repair of the following Ships granting of this, he would not, if it should in the Merchants' Yards, in the years exbe refused, persevere in pressing it.-His pressed against their names, viz. Boston, next motion would be for "An Account Maidstone, 1783; Southampton, Niger,

of the number of artificers and labourers, Lizard, Pearl, 1784; Carysfort, 1785; Lowestoffe, 1786; Boston, 1791; Retri

who have discharged themselves from his maj.'s Dock-yards at Deptford and Wool-bution, L'Amiable, Tartar, Success, Ariwich, in each month, since 1st June, 1804, adne, 1792; Magicienne, Dedalus, Andro-specifying their several classes, age, and mache, Flora, Fury, Bull-dog, 1793. The time of service." Neither this, nor the fol- repairs of these 20 ships, he was informed, lowing, would, he believed, be refused. had cost 298,8841. when they might have "The number of shipwrights borne in all been built in the royal yards for a sum not the Yards, on the 1st of March, 1805.”— amounting to half that sum. His last moWhen those two last motions should be com- tion would be for, "An Account of the plied with, he had strong reasons for sup-sums for which ships of the same size and posing that it would appear to the satisfaction of every noble lord who heard him, that fewer shipwrights were borne in the king's yards at the commencement of the present month, than at the corresponding period last year. His lordship here stated the number of men who had been discharged from the different yards at various times by the late Board of Admiralty, some of whom were superannuated, and others dismissed for misconduct. He contended that there

force might have been built at the same period, according to the contract prices then paid to the merchant-builders." It was not his intention to say any thing at that time upon the comparative merits of the late and present naval administrations. He meant nothing personal to the noble lord at the head of that department; his object was to institute an enquiry, the result of which he thought would be beneficial to the country, into one of the most important parts of its

[ocr errors]

expenditure. However, he could not avoid resort to the facilities for repairing it, affordobserving, that he thought the noble earl ed by the merchants' yards. Upon the pronear him (St. Vincent) who was lately at priety of that measure, he challenged discus the head of that department, was particu- sion, and would be happy to meet the noble larly qualified, from his professional know- lord when the subject should be fairly ledge, to discover the abuses which were brought before the house. As to the cal practised in it. When he was first placed culations with which the house had been en at the head of that board, he set about en-tertained, it wou be premature in him to quiring into those abuses with an honest and discuss them then; when they should be res ardent zeal, and having discovered that the gularly before their lordships, he would most enormous abuses were committed in it, have an opportunity of inquiring into them, he set about, with a resolution as laudable, and making deductions from them by no the correction and the future prevention of means favourable to the conclusions drawn them. For that purpose he proposed the by the noble lord. If he were to be deno appointment of a commission which had al- minated a culprit, because he had contracts ready rendered the most important services ed for the building of ships in the private to the country, and for the dissolution of yards, he would only say, that he had offends which he could discover no one sufficient ed in common with almost every board of motive, unless the strange determination admiralty, except the last, that had ever ex, should have been adopted of perpetuating isted in the country. The principle upon those abuses, which it had so industriously which they did so was one of the most powerdeveloped, and the possible recurrence of ful, it was one of strong necessity. It would which it had suggested the means of pre- not be possible to keep up the navy of this venting. The country, however, which was country in time of war, to maintain it with sensible of the services of the Commissioners that formidable and commanding aspect of Naval Enquiry, would not suffer itself to be which it ought to preserve, without having deprived of the advantages of those disco- recourse to building in the merchants' yards. veries and improvements which they had It was possible, that some new system might made and suggested; they would not, in so have been established, some notable discoimportant a branch of their defence and ex-very, superceding the wisdom of all former penditure as the naval department, forego admiralty boards, might have been made, the benefits that might be expected, from a but neither he, nor those with whom he had more correct and economical administration acted, thought that the honour, the advan

of the immense sums that were so freely contage, or the security of the country would be tributed for maintaining it. He would trespass no longer upon their lordships' time, but move the first resolution.

consulted by a rash departure from the system which had been so long and so benefi cially acted upon. He would, at the same time, frankly acknowledge, that he did not think that the merchants" yards were to be built in out of choice; they were employed from necessity in time of war, because the royal yards were not sufficient to meet the exigencies of the service. Whenever the comparative expence of building in the king's and the merchants' yards should fairly become the subject of consideration, he would not decline entering upon the com parison. As to what the noble lord had ad

Lord Melville said, he had no objection to the motion made by the noble lord. It would not be necessary for him to trouble their lordships at much length upon the present occasion; whatever he had to say would come more regularly when the papers, which it was the object of the noble lord's motion to obtain, should be made the foundation of some specific resolutions. He would not shrink from the discussion. There was one point, however, upon which he would, even at the present stage of the proceedings, de-vanced respecting the increase of the price clare himself. If there were any blame ap-in building ships of war; and the inferences plicable to the repairing of ships in the mer- to the disadvantage of the present naval adchant's yards, that blame, he begged it to be ministration, which he supposed he meant to understood, he would distinctly take upon draw from the comparative rates of prices he himself. He would acknowledge, that he had moved før, he would ask, was there one had advised and recommended that the of their lordships who could expect to build king's ships should be repaired in the mer- a house now for the same surn it would have chants' yards; and for this reason, because cost 50 or even 20 years ago? The noble he thought in the state in which our navy lord, he understood, meant to bring forward was, it could not be kept up without having the question, and it was to be the principal

in all other cases; it was seldom very warm at the beginning. At the commence ment of a Spanish war, for instance, an ent terprising officer would wish for a better sailer than the ship in which it had been thought proper by his superiors to place him. However, if the noble lord could produce letters complaining of the sailing of ships constructed in the merchants' yards, he could assure him that he could produce as many complaining of the sailing of ships constructed in the king's yards. As to the observa tions of officers respecting the fitness of ships for the service, they were, in his opinion, some of the worst criterions to judge by. If vessels were objected to, let them be sur veyed by proper persons, and let not the capricious dislike of an officer be urged as an argument against either taking into or continuing a ship in the service. He did not see the necessity of making, out the long list the noble lord moved for of ships, some of which were built when lord Keppel was at the head of the admiralty. He had no objection to concede to all the motions of the noble lord, except the latter part of the second, and the whole of the fourth-The motions were then put, with the necessary exceptions, and granted.Adjourned.

object of his motion on another day, wheed
ther it would be advisable to continue or
abandon entirely the practice of building in
private yards. That would be a fair mode
of bringing it to issue, and one upon which
he would have no reluctance to meet the
noble lord. For the services in his profes-
sional capacity of the noble person in his
eye (earl St. Vincent) he had all the respect
they deserved; but it was not new in the
history of this country that, under the ad-
ministration of naval lords, the navy had
more than once been in danger of moulder-
ing, and had well nigh gone to pieces. He
had only to call the attention of their lord-
ships to the naval administration of lord
Sandwich, a person regularly bred to the
profession, and yet, with the exception of
one, the navy fell more into decay under
the management of that board, of which he
had been at the head, than when it was pre-
sided by persons, neither whose habits nor
education were professional. When, he
would ask, had the navy been most flourish
ing? was it not at those periods when it had
been superintended by a noble earl in his
eye (Spencer), and another noble earl (Chat-
ham) whom he did not see in his place?
Under whose management of the naval de-
partment, were the victories of earl Howe,
carl St. Vincent, lord Duncan, and lord Nel-
son, gained? He had no objection that as
fuil an enquiry as possible should be institut-
ed into the conduct of the late and present
admiralty boards, but he did not intend that
the question should be decided upon the do-
cuments moved for by the noble lord. He
would also bring forward some documents,
tending to illustrate the former invariable
practice of the board of admiralty, upon
most of the points touched on by the noble
lord. It was not his intention to object to
any of the material documents moved for by
the noble lord; there were, however, some
of the papers which he did not think would
be prudent to have produced. He would,
therefore, wish that part of the second
solution beginning at the words " also of all
representations," to the conclusion, should
be omitted, and that the whole of the 4th
resolution should be expunged. He did not
think, being copies of letters from com-
manders of ships, that they were extremely
important in the consideration of the great
question it was the object of the noble lord
to bring forward. He was aware that of
ficers, as it had been observed, were often in
love with their ships, but the progress of the
passion here was different from what obtain


Thursday, March 14.

[MINOTES.] A message from the lords announced, that they had agreed to the Plea sure Horse duty, and some private bills, Mr. J. Fitzgerald moved, that there be laid before the house, an account of the charges outstanding on the surplus of the consolidated fund of Ireland, and of the sums paid thereon, up to the 5th Jan. 1805. He also moved for an account of the sums of money advanced by the commissioners of the navy in Ireland; the amount of the unfonded debt of the navy; a return of the balances of arrears, specifying the times of payment of the same; and a return of the Re-payments stated to be due, but not payable, till after the 5th Jan. 1805; all of which were agreed to.

[IRISH COUNTY ELECTIONS.] Colonel Bagwell called the attention of the house to the subject of which he had given notice. It was for leave to bring in a bill to amend an act of the 35th of his majesty for regulat. ing the election of persons to serve in parliament, so far as relates to freeholds of 201. a year in Ireland. He declined entering into the detail. The object was to regulate the mode in which the freeholder was to ob

[ocr errors]

tain his certificate by which he was entitled | rious and weighty importance, and relative
to vote at an election for the county; a sub- to which something decisive ought to take
ject liable to great and enormous abuses, ac- place before the end of the session. The
cording to the present practice, Having noble lord seemed to refer to cases of a si-
stated the outline of his plan, he concluded milar nature with that now pending with re-
with moving," that leave be given to bring spect to the proceedings in the instance of
in a bill to amend the said act, so far as re- Judge Fox. With a reference to the prin
lates to freeholds under the value of 201.- ciple he had in contemplation, he acquaint-
Agreed to.
ed their lordships, that he should, on Tues-
day next, bring forward three propositions
for the consideration of the house, in the
shape of motions, nearly to the following
effect: Ist. That a committee be appointed
to search for precedents of cases of a mem
ber of that house bringing forward, in his
place, accusations or charges against an indi-
vidual, either upon his own authority, upon
hearing, or upon the authority or informa
tion of others, &c. 2d. For an inquiry into
precedents of the modes of proceeding
adopted in that house in cases of charges
made against individuals, otherwise than
matters of record, or by petitions presented
to that house; and, 3d. For an examination
into precedents respecting complaints exhi
bited against any of his majesty's judges pre-
vious to the act of W. III. &c.-His lord-
ship then moved, that the lords be sun
moned for Tuesday next.

Lord Grenville expressed his opinion, that
question arising out of the intended mo-
tion first described by the noble lord, should
be referred to the consideration of the twelve

(KNARESBOROUGH ELECTION.-Lord W. Russell moved the order of the day, for taking into consideration the special report of the committee of the late election for the borough of Knaresborough, which being read, he moved, that the house do concur in the first resolution. He said there was no occasion for his making any comments upon facts, which were sufficiently proved in the evidence before the committee, and since submitted to the house. Upon mature consideration, it was his opinion, and that of the committee, that, as the delinquents had not been parties before them, and consequently had not been heard in their own defence, instead of bringing them to the bar of the house, and hearing the whole of the evidence de novo, it would be much more desirable to move, as he then did, "that the following delinquents, viz. J. M. Allen, R. Dewes, T. Abbott, W. Whitehead, Anne Howeton, W. Allison, and S. Henlock, be prose-a cuted by the Attorney General,"

Mr. Rose expressed his perfect satisfaction in this procedure, and the more so, as, if the allegations against one of the delinquents, J. M. Allen, an attorney, were true, the noble lord who presided in the court of king's bench had the power to strike him off the rolls; for though country attorneys had the means of rendering themselves useful and respectable, they were often the pests of the neighbourhood in which they lived.

The Master of the Rolls said, that though he was not forward in countenancing prosecutions on the part of the attorney general by order of that house, yet he must approve of the present, as the tumult did not appear to be accidental, but of a premeditated and studied nature, He, however, should like to know whether any other prosecution had been commenced against these parties? The several motions were then agreed to. -Adjourned.

Lord Auckland replied, that a question of the kind had been nearly decided in a case that occurred in the year 1663.-The question being put, the lords were ordered to be summoned for Tuesday next,

[MUTINY BILL.The order of the day being read, for the commitment of this bill, the different clauses and provisions of the bill were agreed to by the committee, until that which contains the provisions for compelling the administration of oaths to witnesses, on regimental courts martial, was arrived at; when

The Marquis of Buckingham rose and expressed his disapprobation of that part of the clause, as well in point of policy, as in the view of military regulation. He thought the old and uniform practice, with respect to regimental courts martial, should be continued. In the course of his long experi ence, he had never heard a single complaint made, or one objection urged against it. The soldiers very seldom appealed from the decision of the regimental to the general

a topic which he conceived to be of very secourts martial; and, in the few instances


Friday, March 15.

[CONDUCT OF JUDGE FOX.Lord Auckland called the attention of their lordships to

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »