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was sure no blame could aitach 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 confideration to detain Admiral Linois, when he was so fortunate as to make his escape.

The Earl of Carnarvon-If there was no argument adduced but what may be drawn from the unwillingness in Government to produce papers whose dates of transmission and reception are the principal objects desired, and against which the flightest objection is not pretended, I should trongly 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 oficial communication of the situation in which this country was involved, and without instructions for his conduct, and that ibis omission enabled Admiral Linois to escape with his {quadron from the situation in which he might have been detained. The noble Secretary of State has fufficiently confirmed the supposed fast, by confining his affirmation to the information which he says Admiral Rainier had of the rupture with France, without ftating it to be official; and certainly it was not accompanied with instructions how to at ; for the noble Secretary infers the knowledge of Admiral Rainier, from the uncertainty and doubt prevailing in his mind how he thould 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 dirpatches, 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 gross neglect, which merits the most serious inquiry. The capture of the French fleet commanded by Admiral Linois must have been of the utmost importance. The mischief 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 suffered ; other mischiefs which may follow are incalculable. It is admit


ted by the noble Secretary that private information did arrive in time, but not of sufficient authority to enable Admiral Rainier to have detained Linois' squadron in port. It is clear from his acknowledged doubts and uncertainty, that he had noinstructions how to act, which occafioned his uncertainty and the loss of that advantage. That Admiral Linois received his official information Tooner, his escape and a midnight departure proves. Privare information received (which could have no other ef. fect than strong and probable report) is a proof that official information might have been received ; and private or even official information received, which left himn in uncertainty how to act, is a proof that no proper instructions were seni. I am therefore fully satisfied, that the motion of my noble Friend thonld be supported, and that the ministerial molive for withholding the information is the criminal matter they will expose.

Lord llar owby declared, that on the first view of the matter he was inclined to think the motion not sufficiently war. ranted. From the grounds, however, which had since been ftared in support of it, he could not help giving it his decided support. The House then divided on Lord Carline's motion : Contents

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Majority against Ministers,

IRISH MILITIA. Lord Hobart, previous to the second reading of the bill to enable his Majesty to accept the services of the Irih militia, moved that his Majesty's message on the loyal and spirited offers of the Irish militia should be read. His Lordship 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 furiher extent, would sanction the policy of occasional interchanges of ihe militia of the iwo countries. But that, was not the question now before them. The prudence or neceffity of such reciprocity was not now to be discussed; but as it appeared on the face of ihe bill before the House, iter were called upon merely to determine, whether they would


or would not enable his 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 inierests 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 detain their Lordships, but move that the bill be read a second rime.

Lord Boringdon felt himself under the necessity of opposing the second reading of the bill, upon many considerations, but principally two, which in his mind were decilive against the measure. One was, that it would tend, in some mea ure, to subvert the principles upon which the militia force was originally ellablithed; and the other was, that it was withdrawing a force which, however inconsiderable in itself, was necessary for the defence of Ireland, and could afford no material addition to the force already collected for the defence of Great Britain. His Lordthip was no enemy to the principle that all parts of the united kingdom Thould aslift each other reciprocally, but he would rather see that dispofusion manifested by other incasures than a mere interchange of their several militia forces. He wished 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 till 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 defirable in point of justice or of policy, he despaired of seeing accomplished, when he recollected that the great viral and effential principle upon which the present Ministers held their official lituations was oppofition to the only measure that could give satisfaction or permanent tranquillity to Ireland.

The Duke of Cumberland would occupy but a very small portion of ineir Lordthips' time. He rose for the purpose of expressing his approbation of the bill, as tending io eltablith Vol. II. 1803-4.

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that principle, which he hoped to see, within a short time, extended much further. It was his anxious with, that the two cuuntries, which had but one common intereit, ihould, whenever it was necessary, interchange their militias. Since they were become one united kingdom by law, he rrusted that they would not be separate either in sentiment or praclice. He thought no more distinction, in any respect whatever, should exist between them, than between any iwo neighbouring counties of Great Britain ; and, therefore, as this ineasure would tend to establish that cordiality and acquaintance between them, that was so desirable in every point of view, it had his heariy concurrence.

The Marquis of Healfort 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 militia of England was originally formed, and by which they were governed, and as derogatory from the honour of the nation, which posseffing 380,coo volunteers, 70,000 militia, and 44,000 intantry, with a due proportion of artillery and cavalry, still was represented 10 be under the necessity of accepting the services of 10,000 lrish militia.

The Duke of Norfolk would vote against the measure upon conftitutional grounds, although 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 concur in the wish 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 conftitution had been more violated, the couniry more oppressed and impoverished by taxes, and the state of Europe reduced to more disgrace and humiliation by his measures, than by the rashness 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 counte. nance that inost dangerous of all principles to a free Government, the principle of delibera ion by armed bodies. He was sure, when the noble Lord had made that obfervation, that she extraordinary resolutions entered into by a number of militia colonels at the Thatched Houre, in which the noble Earl bore so conspicuous a part, did not offer themselves to his recollection. He could see no difference between deliberation by commanders, and delia beration by common soldiers. The bill had his concure rence, 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 froin Ireland. Yet he was decidedly of opinion, that when a voluntary offer of service was made, like that which had occurred in the present inItanak, it should not be rejected. It would, in fact, matea rially tend to the consolidation of the act of union, by 1hewing the mutual confidence with which different parts of the same empire were animated. With respect to the ob. servations 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 consequence 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 flightest 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 charaéteristics of the times, that a correspondence which in former instances could not, unless ttolen from the pocket of either of the noble Lords, bave found its way into the world, should now be made public as a matter of courle. It was also extra-" ordinary, that a charge 1hould be preferred against bis noble friend, upon grounds which were clearly furreptitious, and which could not, with any propriety or consistency, furnish a 3 X2


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