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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 negociation of the loan, which he thought ihould 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 replieil, 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 fum, 10,663,6ool. 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 millious 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 nine millions and a half, for that amount of Exchequer bills actually afloat. He must.entirely differ from the hon. Genteman's argument, that the loan should be great, and the issue of Exchequer bills finall; 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 differed totally from the precedents of former years, as on the 5th of April 1801, there were two millions of Exchequer bills more afloat than at the present moment. day too the Bank had issued 700,cool. for the purpose of difcharging outstanding Exchequer bills of 1803; and it was therefore neceffary to keep up the supply at market upon a branch of the public fccurities so much in the public preference.
A conversation arose between Mr. Rofe and Mr. Vanfittart, in which the former withed for an account of the various issues of Exchequer bills fince 1801, with the aids on credit on which they were voted ; and Mr. Vanfittart stated those fues with the aiis.
This very 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 mic litia of Great Britain for one year ending the 5th of March 1805, be defrayed out of the monies arising froin the consolidated fund. Allo, the allowance's to adjutants and serjeant majors of the militia of Great Britain, and the allowances to subaltern 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. l'anfitart 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 states, that the difficulties created by the consolidation of the duties had impeded the making up of this account, which was still imperfeit, as the account from Scotland had not been received, but every exertion would be used to complete it. Ordered to lie on the table,
Mr. Rose observed, 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 heing assured by Mr. Vanfittart that every account that was usual, and some that were not prelented 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. Role then moved, that there be laid before the House, an account of all Exchequer bills, issued from sih April 1798, up to the present time, Thewing the amount in each year, and distinguishing each issue, and the funds on which it was chargel. 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 Tiichfield, by assenting to the commitment of the bill, wished to be understood not to preclude bi:nself 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 Aylesbury, in the room of Mr. Bent, till Monday, 14th May.
The Dublin police bill was read a third time, and passed.
Mr. Vanfittart 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.--Adjourned.
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. Poftponed till Wednesday.
The bills on the table were forwarded. MOTION FOR. DISPATCHES RELATING TO HOSTILITIES,
SENT TO INDIA. The Earl of Carlisle observed, that as the face of the country, as connected with the conduct of Ministers, must, at no very diftant day, be brought under their Lord. ships' consideration, he would not then trespass on their time by any observations on that subject. He rose merily to make a motion for cerlain papers, 10 she production of which he did not apprehend Ministers would oppose any reasunable objections. He should therefore move without further preface, That an humble address be presented to his Majelly, praying that he may give orders that the dates of all dispatches transmitted either by land or fea, by Government to India, previous to his Majesty's message of the 10th of March 1803, be laid on the table for the information of their Lord'hips; 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 that period and the commencement of hostilities, iogether with the dates of the receipt of such in India, be allo laid on the table.
Lord Ilawkesbury thought it his duty to resist the motion oftlie noble Earl, not that there could be any great objeérion to grant the information he seemed anxious io 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 public 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 comperent for any noble Lord to move for such papers as tended to explain them, and it would be indecorous in Ministers 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 10 be discovered in vague and uncertain rumour, he thought it neither parliamentary nor prudent to trouble his Majesty with an address for such purposes ; he would therefore give his dissent to the motion of the noble Earl.
The Earl of Carlisle could not agree with the noble Secre. tary of State as to the principle which he had laid down, ihat Ministers were to communicate or wiihhold information at their discretion, on all public occasions, except such as arose out of matters that were fairly before Parliainent. 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 it, 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 ru. mour may be sometimes a good ground for requiring information. He asked, was it not 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 extremely remiss in conveying intelligence to India of approaching hostilities? It was ealily to be ascertained, so negligent had they been in this respect, that information of the war had been received from England, by private merchants in India, Joventeen dars before the dispatches of Government arrived there. To what but this negligence, on the part of Govern. meni, was the elcape of the French squadron at Pondicherry owing? Admiral Linois, with an inferior force, was at anchor within ihe Biilith fleet under the command of Admiral Rainier, and from fome information he had received, he had cui his cables, and was, perhaps, at this very moment, engaged in active and successful hoftility against some of the most valuable of our serilements in that part of the world. Surely if the Englith Admiral had been apprized of the probability, much
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 Hawkisbury must still persist in opposing 'he motion ; however, he had no hesitation in saying, that pending the negociation, and previous to his Majesty's mellage, 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 the probable resumption of hoftilities. His Majesty's Government, at least that deparıment of is, had also, in a subsequent seriod of the negociation, made similar communication ; and when hoftilities actually commenced, they transmitted intelligence of it, by all means in their power, 1o India.
Earl Spencer expreffed 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 information from a source which, though not official, was, notwithstanding, in his opinion, too authentic to be questioned, been guilty of unpardonable neglect in not conveying the carliest intelligence of the war 10 our seulements in India. The official dispatches were transmitted by a frigate which had 10 see a convoy, that was put under her protection, fate 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 reafor. 10 dloubi, Admiral Rainier was not apprized, on the 12th of August, of what had taken place in Europe on the ioth of March, full five months before. Suppose the circumstances of the iwo feels 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 flipped his cables, would have hesitated on the capture of the British squadron? There was certainly great blame imputable to some quarter, and it was the duty of the House to examine it thoroughly.
Lerd Hobart opposed the motion, and maintained that there had been no negligence on the part of Ministers. The fri gate which carried out dispatches, failed direa 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 hoitilities. As to the escape of Admiral Linois' squadron, he