Изображения страниц

for his sanction; and his answer was, that lord Spencer had not mentioned any circumstance of the kind to him, or left any memorandum, having emptied his drawers previous to his (lord St. Vincent) taking possession of his office room. I then told his lordship, that it became my duty to inform him of various particulars that I considered absolutely necessary he should be acquainted with. I mentioned to him the circumstances under which the merchant builders were then going on with the 74-gun ships contracted for in 1800; that instead of having complied with their request to increase the price they had engaged for, I had been authorized by lord Spencer to give them assurances, that if

"Statement and Declaration.-On reading the eleventh report of the commissioners they went on and built the ships accordof naval enquiry, and particularly the evi-ing to contract, their case should be fully dence given by the earl of St. Vincent, as considered, and a compensation made them stated in the appendix to that report, for their losses, if the same should be made which appears to me not to be correct; appear to the satisfaction of the navy have judged it proper to make the follow-board; this, lord St. Vincent fully ap ing declaration. I declare, 1st, That I proved of at that time. I also informed have written documents in my possession his lordship, that Mr. Lindegren was em (copies of which are hereunto annexed)ployed as an agent to procure hemp for which appear to me to prove that his lord- the navy through the neutral merchants, ship had a thorough knowledge of one of (the Russian ports being then shut against the transactions; all knowledge of which this country); which his lordship also aphe has denied:-And, 2dly, I declare, proved of, and continued.—I stated likethat although I have no written testimonywise to his lordship, all the circumstances to prove that his lordship was actually ac-that had occurred in the change of the quainted with the other transaction set mode of paying the navy bill; shewing forth in that report; and also stated in what an immense saving it had been to the the appendix by his lordship to have been public; and the difficulties which arose unknown to him; yet that his lordship in 1797 in first getting the ninety-day bills was not unacquainted with its having taken into circulation; and informed him of the place; and the fact of his having denied expedient the treasury had been obliged the one, which is capable of distinct proof, to resort to for keeping up their credit, may tend to confirm my declaration upon when there did not happen to be money the other, as the same degree of forgetful-in the exchequer to discharge them.-And ness which occasioned his denial of the I do as confidently assert, upon the same one might occasion a similar mistake in principle, and either at the same time, his denial of the other. I therefore de- or shortly afterwards, I informed his clare, that feeling it to be my duty to take lordship of all the circumstances of the care that the first lord of the admiralty transaction relative to the issue of the should be informed generally of the trans- 100,000 7. stated in. page 491 of the com actions of my office, and particularly, of missioners' report, and which is described such as were out of the ordinary course by me to be of a nature not fit as yet to of proceeding; I took occasion not long be made the subject of a public report: after the earl of St. Vincent came into and I add now, that. I not only am ready office as first lord of the admiralty, to ask to give to your lordships the most conhis lordship if his predecessor lord Spencer plete explanation of the transaction; but had acquainted him with any services I subjoin to this statement and declara going on under the authority of his ap- tion a copy of a letter, which, though subprobation or order, that still remained un- sequent to my examination, yet previous executed, and to which I might have oc- to their making their report, i sent to the casion hereafter to call upon his lordship commissioners of naval enquiry, tender


"nicated by you, which requires us to

adopt a different line of conduct."Feeling much disappointed at not having the opportunity of giving the explanation which I wished to the commissioners, and being desirous that your lordships should not remain in ignorance on this subject, I take the liberty of submitting to your lordships the following statement and declaration, which I should at any time be ready to verify upon my oath before the commissioners, or in any other manner in which it might be thought desirable that I should swear to it. I have the honour to be, my lords, &c. &c. (Signed) 4. S. Hamond."

ing to give them also every information visable,under the present circumstances of upon that point, provided they would not the war, that an attempt should be made make it the subject of a public report; for carrying into execution the project sugand which letter, if they had added to their gested in the inclosed paper for choaking appendix would have shrewn that it was up the entrance into the harbour of Bounot a transaction which I had any wish logne; and the success of such an enterto keep secret, except so far as the dis- prize depending in a great measure upon closure of it would be detrimental to the the secrecy and dispatch with which the public survice; and I do declare, that I preparations may be made; I have the believe, if the commissioners had entered king's commands to signify to you his mainto this examination, which I tendered jesty's pleasure that you do take these prein that letter, that they would have had parations under your immediate control, no difficulty in stating, that the reasons and that you do communicate confidenupon which I was desirous to observe this tially with Mr. supplying him with secrecy, were perfectly satisfactory and such funds, and giving him such orders for sufficient. And I do declare, that with the purchase of vessels, and providing the respect to the last issue of 30,000/ the or- stone and other materials which you may der for which is dated from the treasury judge necessary to be embarked, as shall on the 14th March 1801, it was consider- be requisite for accomplishing the object ed as forming a part of the above trans-in view, The advances you may have oc action, and took place before Mr. Pitt casion to make for this service will herequitted office, although the bills were not after be replaced by the treasury. As actually passed until the 9th April, and soon as the vessels shall be sufficiently latherefore this particular issue was not dis-den, you will give directions that they tinguished by me, when I related the cir- should proceed with all possible expedicumstance to lord St. Vincent. (Signed) tion to the Downs, where all further or A. S. Hamond. Navy Office, 22d April ders will proceed from lord Keith. I am, 1805." sir, &c. (Signed) Hobart. Sir A. S. Hamond, baronet, comptroller of the navy."

[ocr errors]

"No. 3. Sir, I have received your letter of yesterday, inclosing an instruction. which you had received from lord Hobart for the execution of a secret service, and which I have no doubt will be well performed; but as the whole expense is to be defrayed by the treasury, I do not see oc

"No. 1. Copy of a letter from Sir A.S. Hamond to Earl St. Vincent, dated Navy Office, 9th March 1804.-My Lord, As I had not the honour of seeing your lordship this morning when I waited upon you at the admiralty, I beg to inclose, for your information, an order I received the 9th of last month from lord Hobart; and to acquaint your lordship, that in conse-casion for any part of the detail being quence thereof I have forwarded the ser-submitted to the admiralty board. I revice therein mentioned as far as it was in turn herewith lord Hobart's letter, and my power, and that three ships fitted for have the honour to be, sir, &c. (Signed) the purpose have now sailed down the St. Vincent. Admiralty, 10 March 1804. river to join lord Keith. I beg further to Sir A. S. Hamond, baronet, comptroller acquaint your lordship, that I have avoid- of the navy." ed as much as possible taking any people or stores from his majesty's dock yards for this service; but, from the want of exertion of the parties whom I was directed to control, and from the necessity which existed for extraordinary dispatch, I have been obliged to have recourse both to Woolwich and Chatham yards, the particulars of which shall soon be laid before the admiralty. I have the honour to be, my lord, &c.&c. (Signed) A. S. Hamond.”

"No. 4. My dear sir, I hope you can report progress. I have not seen or heard from Mr. since I saw you; lord St. Vincent approves much of the direction being with you, and will himself write to lord Keith when the preparations are suf ficiently forward. Yours faithfully, J. Sullivan. Downing Street, 18 Feb. 1804, Sir A. S. Hamond."


No. 2. Copy of an Order inelosed in Sir Andrew Snape Hamond's letter of the 9th March 1804, to the earl of St. Vincent. Downing-street, 9th Feb. 1804.

"No. 5. My dear sir, Lord Hobart begs me to say, that he hopes the vessel's having taking the ground, is not an indication of her draught of water being too great for the proposed service. He is going to settle with lord St. Vincent about the pro(Most secret)-Sir, It being thought ad-tections; and I am going to arrange with


the treasury about the instructions to the in February 1804, namely, the project for Custom House, I am, my dear sir, faith-blocking up the harbour of Boulogue ; and fully yours, J. Sullivan, Downing Street, as I understood both from your lordship 21 Feb. 1804. Sir A. S. Hamond." and Mr. Sullivan, that the plan, had been first submitted to lord St. Vincent, whose opinion was, that if executed by the smugglers themselves, there was reason able ground to expect success, but not so, if put into the hands of the officers of the navy; that it was in consequence of this opinion, that your lordship determined to employ Mr.- to carry the project into immediate execution, to direct me to take the preparation under my control, and to provide naval funds for the expence thereof, as the more effectual means of keeping the exdedition secret, and which was to be repaid by the treasury when the amount was ascertained.As J find a considerable impression is made on the public mind, that a transaction of this nature should be carried on by the comp troller of the navy, without the knowledge

"No. 6. Downing Street, 23d Feb.1804. My dear sir, Lord Hobart proposes to send a messenger to-night to lord Keith, and hopes you will send your paquet to go by him, Lord St. Vincent's letter will accompany it. Mr. Frewin of the Custom House, assures me that surveyors are not sent on board ships unless notice is given that a drawback will be claimed for any part of the cargo, or unless some suspicion is entertained of fraudulent practice. He will be in the chair of the Custom House all next week, and will see Mr.


"No. 7.

and act upon any communication from him, if it should appear absolutely necessary; but until the necessity shall occur, he is decidedly of opinion that it would not be advisable to give an order, because it would inevitably give publicity to the business. Mr. Frewin has been of the first lord of the admiralty, I feel fully informed on the subject. I beg of myself under the necessity of requesting you to send me the original paper of your lordship will have the goodness to Mr. or a copy of it. I am, my dear furnish me with some document that will sir, &c. J. Sullivan. Sir A. S. Hamond." fully shew I was not guilty of that breach Downing Street, 26th March of my duty, which I cannot but think is 1804. My dear sir, Though the accom-intended to be imputed to me by lord. St. panying are rather rejective, I have had Vincent. I have the honour to be, my some comfort from the report of ----- who lord, &c. &c. (Signed). A. S. Hamond. arrived about an hour ago. He says, posi- The earl of Buckinghamshire, &c. &c. &c. tively, that the other pilots agree in opi- late lord Hobart." nion with that the project is practirable, and that if the ships should be placed in the proper births, they will produce all the effect we have been given to expect. and ... will call on you. I have sent them to lord St. Vincent. Yours truly, (Signed) J. Sullivan. Sir A. S. Hamond, baronet."


[ocr errors]

"No. 10. Grosvenor Place, 3d April, 1805.-Sir, I avail myself of the earliest opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant, which did not reach me until yesterday. In order to intimate for your satisfaction, that you had full authority from me to understand, that previous to any determination being taken, the project for blocking up the harbour of Boulogue had been submitted to the cansideration of earl St. Vincent, and that he had approved of my suggestion to place the necessary arrangements for that service under your direction and control. I have further to add, that I siguified to you the king's commands for supplying such funds, and giving such orders as might appear to you requisite, with a view to the ultimate success of the undertaking. Informing you at the same time that the advances which you might have occasion to make for the service in question, would be hereafter replaced by the treasury. I have

"No. 9. Navy Office, 1st April 1805. My lord, As I find, upon reading the eleventh report of the commissioners of naval enquiry, that lord St. Vincent does not appear to recollect the secret service the honour to be, &c. &c. (Signed) Buckyour lordship placed under my coutrol|inghamshire. P. S. If it be intended that

"No. 8. Downing Street, 12th April 1804. My dear sir, When you have looked over the accompanying papers, have the goodness to return them to me. If you think yourself at liberty to give me a copy of captain Owen's letter, for the purpose of my shewing it to the first lord, I will thank you for it; I have shewn him in confidence the papers I now send you. Truly yours, (Signed) J. Sullivan. Sir A. S. Hamond, baronet."

your communication to me, should be made that case I should consider myself not at public document, I must request, for very liberty to make the communication withoutobvious reasons, that the name of the indi- first consulting the government. With vidual principally employed in the business respect to the 24 issue of navy bills to may be omitted. B. Sir A. S. Hamond, Messrs. Hammersley and Co., I beg leave Bt." to acquaint, you that lord Hobart, one of "No. 11. Navy Office, 30th Nov.1804. his majesty's principal secretaries of state, Gentlemen, Since my return to town, your signified to me the king's pleasure, that I precept to the navy board has been put should take under my control, and prointo my hands. I find the board has al- vide funds for the preparation of a project ready signified to you, that the navy nine- intended to be carried into execution on ty-day bills, mentioned in your said pre- the enemy's coast (a copy of which I have cept, on the days and for the sums parti- the honour to inclose in obedience to your .cularized, were issued, by my written precept); and considering it more for the directions, to the committee of accounts, in interest of the public, that the funds should consequence of secret orders I had receiv-be in the hands of a banker, rather than in those of a person unknown to me, and over whom, whilst money was at his command, I could expect to have but little control; I judged it most advisable to have the mỏney imprested to Messrs. Hammersley, and Co. who have no other concern in the transaction than paying such bills as had my approval. I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed) 4. S. Hamond."

ed from government for specific purposes, and which were kept in my possessión.I have now the honour to acquaint you, that the first sum stated in your precept, was issued by directions from the lords commissioners of the treasury, dated 4th October 1792, and marked most secret. The subsequent issues, viz. 22d November 1799, and 9th April 1801, were made by similar orders. The service for which On the motion for their being printed, these naval payments were made, was Mr. Tierney called the attention of the communicated to me in confidence, and I house to the papers. It was a direct and consider it to be of so delicate a nature, wilful perversion to call them papers that that although the late treasury board sig-corrected the evidence of lord St. Vincent. nified in a secret letter to me from Mr. That evidence stood unimpeached. The Vansittart, dated 1st May 1804, "That house had an interest in the character of ❝ the individual in question had performed lord St. Vincent, and his private friends "the service for which the navy bills had had an interest. The charge here was no been issued, to their lordship's satisfac-less than one of direct perjury. It was “tion, and therefore directed the navy the general fate of all men in high situa“board to make out a clearing bill to dis- tions to subject themselves to calumny, if 4 charge Mr. -- and his partners they touched the work of corruption. He ❝ from the responsibility of the debt to would aver, and that without fear of congovernments" yet I am decidedly of tradiction, that with regard to the secret -opinion, that even mentioning the name of expedition, lord St. Vincent never did give the parties, with the sums issued to them his sanction to it. Lord St. Vincent uniat the particular periods before-mentioned, formly protested against the appropriation in any report to be laid before the public, of naval money to any but naval services, would not only endanger the loss of a great or to other purposes than those for which part of the money to government, but it was voted by parliament. His lordship would subject the party who had been em- uniformly took care that not one farthing ployed to very great inconvenience. of the public money of his department therefore submit these circumstances to should be misapplied. Lord St. Vincent your consideration, as I find it impracti- never made any appointment of a single cable to give you a copy of the orders naval officer to the expedition, although he under which I acted, “omitting the secret might have desired lord Keith to give it a -“instructions respecting the services to be convoy. The whole was left to the per“performed,” as they are contained in sons appointed by the treasury. The pa almost every line of the authority: I am, pers which were just read, had nothing to nevertheless, ready to lay before you, pri- do with the charges against lord St. Vinvately, all the papers relative to the cent. By lord Hobart's letter, it appeared transaction, provided I am assured that it that the whole expence was to be defrayed is not to be publicly reported upon, as in by the treasury. Lord St. Vincent washed

his hands of it when he returned to sir A. [baronet was to blame in what he did on Hamond the letter of lord Hobart. To be the subject of that expedition; that was sure, it was impossible for lord St. Vin-a point which was not now before the cent, as a member of the cabinet, not to house. The question at present was, whe have known of the expedition, but he had ther the evidence of lord St. Vincent was, no participation in lodging navy money in or was not correct, and it really appeared the hands of the hon. baronet. Here then to him perfectly correct. ends, in the face of the house, the first charge against lord St. Vincent, and the remarkable phrase that either the situation of lord St. Vincent or sir Andrew Hamond would appear from the papers, one in which no man of honour would wish to stand. As a seaman, lord St. Vincent gave his opinion respecting the project for choaking lord St. Vincent; that to the expence up the harbours of the enemy; but, as a being incurred, he had no objection; that servant of the public, he had never depart-he objected afterwards only to its being ed from his resolution not to use the pub- defrayed out of naval money-(a cry of / lic money against the votes of parliament. I hear! hear!) have but one more observation to add, which is, that the worthy baronet has my warmest thanks for the production of his papers.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that whatever might be doubtful, thus much indisputably appeared on the face of these papers; that the transaction which occasioned the expence, the expedition which had been so frequently repeated, was a measure perfectly well known to

Mr. Grey said, that lord St. Vincent knew of the transaction of some secret service was a fact; but that lord St. Vincent disapproved of and protested against the

Mr. Canning observed, that the impression made upon his mind was, that the application of naval money for that puthon. baronet had moved for the produc-pose, was equally indisputable; no naval tion of these papers for the purpose of re-money was, either directly or indirectly, pelling a charge, the substance of which issued for that purpose under the authowas to be decided by the answer to be rity of that noble carl. His answer was given to a question, whether the comp-given to the commissioners of naval enqui troller of the navy had employed money ry with reference to his assent to the naval entrusted to his charge in other services money being employed to the purpose of than those of the admiralty? That was the that secret service, which assent he most charge, and which charge it was not for indisputably never gave. Lord St. Vitihim to say had been repelled; that was cent was, therefore, perfectly right in that with the house. But how it might appear sense, when he said he knew nothing of the to be conformable to, or contrasted with, transaction. what might have been said or sworn elsewhere, he left to the consideration of the public.

Mr. Wallace said, that as far as his recollection went, it did appear to him that the noble earl was quite incorrect in the statement he made before the commis sioners; for it appeared from the commu nications of sir A. S. Hamond, that the noble earl not only knew of and approved the secret service, but that he also assented to providing the funds for it. Most certainly the impression on his mind was directly the reverse of that felt by the hon. gent. (Mr. Grey) opposite to him.

Mr. For observed, that what had just been said by the right hon. gent. was fair, if indeed it was not something more than fair. But he had a right to expect that the point should be put on the true ground, and perhaps it would have been fair if the rt. hon. gent. had put forward the charge against lord St. Vincent. The ground of bringing forward these documents was, that my lord St. Vincent's evidence, as delivered to the commissioners of enquiry, was incorrect, as was indeed stated in one of the documents themselves. Now, it was so far from being so, that there was no incorrectness whatever in that evidence; on the contrary, lord St. Vincent understood the matter at the time, as he and every body else under-troller of the navy should have funds for stands it now, and he should be glad to defraying the expences of the expedition, have the incorrectness pointed out. It and he would beg to know whether these was another matter to say that the hon. funds were to come from his own pocket,

Mr. Grey say the representation of the hon. gent. who has just spoken, is di rectly the contrary of the transaction to which he refers. If he means an epithet to apply to the evidence of the noble earl.

Sir A. S. Hamond said it would appear, that his lordship directed that the comp

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »