« ZurückWeiter »
that brother by a third. The title has praying to have his claims investigated long lain dormant, but as the will of the and ascertained. He considered the chafirst Lord Rutherford contained a condi- racter and honour of the Scots Nobility tion, that if the estate should be all spent, materially interested in the event of this when any one of the male line died, the bufiness; and much as he respected the title should go to the descendants of Noble Lord (Cathcart) who owed his feat the female line ; and the present claim to the vote in question, he considered it ant, his Lordship said, he understood was but as nought when compared to the dea descendant from the line of the fifter gradation which that illuftrious body most of the first Lord Rutherford. His Lord- fuffer if they are to remain under the dirTip accompanied this recital with a va- cretionary controul of a returning officer; riety of very pertinent obfervations, and they will be in a more uncomfortable ficoncluded, with an apology to the House tuation than the representatives of the for their indulgence.
the most venal petty borough that ever :: Lord Loughborough contended, that courted corruption. The Learned Lord there was not the smallest shadow of ar- went at considerable length into the bugument to induce the House to postpone finess as a question of law. He insisted, the motion of the Noble Earl. The that if Mr Rutherford did not come forLearned Lord on the woolfack had ar- ward in the right of Alexander Ruthergued, that it was not consistent with the ford, that he claimed the title in the Hrict principles of justice, tò endeavour fame lineage with Durie, consequently to criminate, or censure any person, du- was equally inadmissible. Under all these ring the dependence of a case, in which circumstances he felt himself called on to his civil rights were ultimately involved support the motion. -But the motion went to no such cri- *Lord Hawkesbury and Earl Stanhope mination. It was merely for the purpose supported the opinion of the Lord Chanof inftituting an inquiry into the truth of cellor, and the Earl of Hopetoun spoke à fact, which the Noble Lord.ftated in a few words in favour of the motion. his place confifted with his own know- At length the question was put, and ledge, and which he desired to have in- the House divided, Contents 20-Not vestigated. If the resolutions of that Contents 29-Majority against the moHoule were to be violated with impuni- tion 9. ty, there was an end of the dignity of The Prince of Wales was in the their proceedings. Could they he more House, and voted for the motion. flagrantly violated than in the cafe which H.of C. 7. The Committee on the pet. the Noble Earl had stated ? It was a po- of the London distillers was resumed, fitive and direct infringement of a folemn and order of the House of Lords.
Mr Pitt said, that since last night he It was ridiculous to fay, that the Lord had been endeavouring, by conversing Register of Scotland, or his deputies, had with both parties, to form a compromise; no discretionary power to reject claims but finding that impossible, he was now which they knew to be false. The most obliged, as would frequently happen to contemptible officer under the Crown is those who attempted to reconcile opinvested in some measure with a discre- pofite interests, to bring forward a plan tionary power, so far as regards identity. that was approved of by neither. In Were the clerks of Session to void of dif- 1986, in consequence of disputes and cretion-were they so completely ftultified mutual complaints between the Scots in virtue of their office, as with their distillers and the Excise, a new method eyes open to consider themselves bound of levying the duty on spirits distilled in to receive the vote of one who was un- Scotland had been adopted, by charging der the positive interdiction of a resolu- it as a licenfe duty of thirty shillings per tion of the Houfe of Peers, and who gallon per annum on their ftills, instead comes forward to claim a right to vote of charging it on the wash, as had been as a Peer of Scotland on the eve of a done before, and still continued to be contefted election ? Under all these fuf- done in England; and, with a view to picious circumstances did Mr Ruther- enable - the Scots distillers to meet the ford come forward, after a filence of up- smugglers in their own market, a confid wards of 25 years. Had his claim been derable reduction of the duty was made, undisputed, after so long an interruption being calculated at no more than rod. of the exercise of it? The law requires per gallon, on the supposition that their that he should present a petition to the stills could be charged and worked off King, who is the fountain of honour, only once-in twenty-four hours ; - but as
the the English distillers paid a much higher of agreement or of public faith would duty, amounting, as was alledged on the be made. The provisions of the act one part, to 2 s. iod. per gallon, and on had not been adopted in consequence of the other only to 2 s. 6d. per gallon, an any agreement between the Scots and equallizing duty of 2s. per gallon was English distillers, but to enable the Scots imposed on all foreign spirits imported distillers to meet the smugglers in their from Scotland into England. This act home market, and as an experiment unwas passed only for two years; and as der which the manufacturers might have the time of its duration was so nearly at an opportunity of making improvements an end, undoubtedly he would not have in the art of distilling, which the old proposed any alteration in it but on very mode of levying the duty in some measure juit and cogent grounds. But he thought precluded them from doing. On these it had appeared to the fatisfaction of the grounds the licence duty and the equaliCommittee, that under this act the Scots zing duty had been calculated according diftillers had obtained very considerable to the beß information that could be had, advantages over the English distillers. It so as to give no advantage to the diftil. was admitted by the counsel for the lers of the one country over those of the Scots distillers, that they worked off their other. But it had proved on trial that stills on an average four times a day, and the Scots distillers had a very material worked 300 days in the year; and taking advantage, and that both the English the average on this, and on several other distillers and the revenue suffered a very circumstances, on some of which no evi- material injury ; it was therefore perfect. dence had been given, he computed that ly fair and reasonable to restore both parthe licence duty paid in Scotland amount- ties as soon as possible to that equality on ed to three pence halfpenny per gallon. which it was the original intention of the Now, as on the one hand it was contende act to place them. The resolution passed ed that the English distiller paid 28. rod. without a division. per gallon, and on the other fomewhat 12. A petition was presented to the Jels, ne had taken a medium in that case House of Lords in behalf of the Earl of also, and supposed them to pay 28. 9d. Dumfries, stating in substance, that, at halfpenny per gallon. With a view the late election of a Peer of Scot. therefore to do Itrict and impartial juft- land, the votes were equal for bim and ice between the two countries, and with- for Lord Cathcart ; but that the clerks out the least inclination to give a prefer- of Session, acting as the returning om. ence to either, he moved that an amend- cers, had admitted the vote of a person ment of 6d. per gallon be made to the claiming the title of Lord Rutherford, equalizing duty on spirits imported from though discharged by a resolution of the Scotland into England, for four months, Houle 15th March 1762 ; and the petiwhen the present law expires; after tioner craved the House to take the mat. which a bill will be brought forward ter into consideration, to reject the vote upon a more equitable principle for both illegally admitted, and inflict such cene countries.
sure on the clerks as the offence merited, In behalf of the Scotch distillers it was and prayed generally for relief. argued by Sir William Cunningham, that After hearing the petition, the House such an alteration in the act, which was ordered, that the said petition be heard already so near expiring, would not on- on Monday the roth of March next: ly be a hardship on the Scots distillers, That the petitioner may have leave ta but a breach of agreement with them. be heard by his counsel thereupon : Before the passing of this act, it had been That George Home and Robert Sinconstantly asserted by the London diftil- clair, two of the principal Clerks of Sess lers, that the Scots distillers paid no fion, do attend the House on the faid. duty at all; and when the prosecution oth day of March next, and bring with for a lioence duty in Scotland, and an them the original minutes of the meeting çqualizing duty on importation into Eng- held for the election of a Peer of Scota land was made, they had declared theme land, on the 10th day of January laft, felves satisfied with the equalizing duty and the original proxies and figned lids of 2 s. per gallon, and if that should be there exhibited, and all other papers, en, paid, declared themselves indifferent whe- tries, and documents respecting the trana zher' any duty were paid in Scotland or faction of the said election : not.
That notice of the said petition be fer Mr Pitt said, that, by amending ved upon John Anderson of Gowland, the act before its expiration, ne breach in the county of Kinross, who claimed
to vote by the stile and title of Lord Ru- not expect it from him, that he should therford,' at the said election; and that state that it was on that account that he he may, if he thinks proper, by himself complained of it to the House ; undoubto or his agent, duly authorised, attend the edly it was not. (Mr Pitt laughed hear. Houfe at the hearing of the said petition, tily.) The true cause of his urging a on the 10th day of March next, and that complaint against the pamphlet was, that he be at liberty to be heard by his coun- it tended to degrade that Houst, his Mafel thereupon, if he thinks fit:
jefty, and the Houfe of Lords, in the That the said petition be served upon eyes of the public, and to hold forth the his Majesty's Advocate for Scotland, and whole Legislature as acting upon base and that he do attend on behalf of his Ma- improper motives on a subject, in which, jefty thereupon.
of all others, it behoved them to act on There was also presented to the House the purest principles, and with the strict. a petition from Lord Cathcart, ftating, eft regard to impartial justice. Having that Robert Colvill at Laurencekirk had thus generally stated the ground of his Toted at the same election, under the title complaint, Mr Fox then read a passage of Lord Colvill of Ochiltree, but to which which alluded to Mr Hastings enjoying? title he had no right; and therefore pray- in a peculiar degree, the smiles of his ing the House to take the matter into con- Sovereign, and infinuated that his profideration, and to reject the vote of the fecution originated in that circumstance, faid Robert Colvill: whereupon the House Mr Fox commented on this extract, and ordered, that the said petition be heard said, it was beyond all doubt highly inon the roth day of March next, and that decent to impute it to that Houle to have the petitioner have leave to be heard by been governed in their Impeachment of counsel thereupon :
Mr Hastings by so improper a motive, That notice of the said petition be fer- as a design to thwart the wishes of the ved on Robert Colvill at Laurencekirk, Sovereign. He read another passage, in the county of Kincardine, who claime which charged the House with having ed to vote at the said election on the roth voted some of the Articles of Impeach of January last at Holyroodhouse, by the ment, without having inquired into their Nile and title of Lord Colvill of Ochil. truth, and notwithftanding their convic tree; and that he may, if he thinks pro- tion that they were founded in misrepreper, by himself or his agent, duly autho. fentation and falsehood. A third pallage rifed, attend the House at the hearing of stated, that the majority had followed the said petition on the roth day of March the Minister in their vote on the Benares next ; and that he be at liberty to be charge, after the Right Hon. Gentleman beard by his counsel thereupon, if he had, in his speechi, fully justified Mr Hafthinks fit :
tings in the principal part of the tranface That notice of the said petition be tions stated in that charge, and only con ferved upon his Majesty's Advocate for demned him for what he intended to do, Scotland, and that he do attend on be- and for having exacted rather too heavý half of his Majesty thereupon.
a fine. He next read one or more par 14. H. of C. Mr Fox called the atten- lages in which the writer justified Mr tion of the House to a complaint against Hastings' whole conduct in India, on prin a libel. He said, a pamphlet had been ciples which, Mr Fox said, he hoped and put into his hands, which, although it had believed were exclusively the writer's escaped his notice, he understood had been own; and, lattly, he read a passage which published near a fortnight. It contained ftated, that the parties of the day joftled a gross and scandalous libel on the Com- each other in the dark, in order to run mittee appointed by that House to ma. down a deserving character; and that if nage the prosecution of Mr Haftings, as any man went to India, and, after a long well as a libel upon the House itself, up- series of extraordinary and meritorious on his Majesty, and upon the whole Le services, characterised by his eminent and gislature. With regard to the reflections obvious zeal for his country, and his ar on himself personally, and on his friends, dent loyalty to his King, returned to who were Members of the Committee, Great Britain, and was received with he certainly did not, on that account, the voice of the people and the applaufe Itand forward to complain of the pamph- of his Sovereign, unless he coalesced with let. It likewise, in terms of great licen- Opposition, and fought their favour, he tiousness, made free with the Right Hon. risqued the vengeance of the party, and Gentleman opposite to him ; but the Rt. was liable to be impeached and undonë. Hon. Gentleman, lcwas perspaded, would After adding some observations on the
flagrancy Sagrancy of the libel contained in the regard to the mode of prosecution, unpamphlet, Mr Fox said, he was rather doubtedly a prosecution by the Attorney at a loss what motion to make, as to the General would in the present instance be mode moft proper for the House to a- the proper mode to be adopted, though dopt for the punishment of the libeller. he fhould on that and every other ocThe pamphlet was, in the trueft sense of casion contend, that the House had it the words, a public libel, and for that in its power at all times to punish the reason a prosecution by the Attorney. breach of their privileges by means of their General might be the most proper mode own authority and jurisdiction. of proceeding to punish; but he would Mr Fox coincided with the Chancellor leave it to those who were most likely to of the Exchequer as to the propriety of be in possession of the opinion of the suffering the pamphlet to remain on the House, as to the mode of punishment table for the perufàl of the House, before most proper to be pursued, and would any motion was made respecting it, o. content himself with moving the general ther than " that the said pamphlet be preliminary motion, víz.
taken into consideration to-morrow, “ That 'the pamphlet complained of which he moved accordingly, and which contained a libel highly reflecting on his was unanimously agreed to. Majesty, and upon the proceedings of this House, and was an indecent inter- Trial of Mr HASTINGS. ference with respect to the profecutions Feb. 13. Sir Peter Burrel, (Lord High now depending on the impeachment of Chamberlain by deputation) apprehenWarren Hastings, Esq; late Governor five of the consequences that might be General of Bengal.”
occasioned by a mixture of carriages and Mr Fox having delivered in the pam- immense crouds of spectators on foot, in phlet to the clerk at the table, Mr Hat- and about the freets leading to Weft sell read its title as follows:
minister Hall, and the two Houses of « A Review of the Charges against Parliament, on a day when a Governor Warren Hastings, Elq;" &c. Printed by General of the British dominions in AsiaJohn Stockdale.
was to be brought to trial, had taken the Mr Hatfell read the passages complain- wise precaution of applying for a mili ed of thort, pro forma.
tary force in aid of the civil power, which The Chancellor of the Exchequer then would have been insufficient to maintain rose and said, though it appeared that he order and regularity on this extraordinary was personally interested in the pamphlet occafion. complained of, it really had not been The precaution was necessary. For, noticed by him till the moment that the so early as eight o'clock in the morning, Right Hon. Gentleman had stated its the number of carriages passing through
to the House. From what Parliament Street was immense, and the Right Hon. Gentleman had read of continued to be fo till near twelve. the pamphlet, it appeared to him to be In consequence of this application, not only a libel, but a libel of a very detachments from the Horse Grenadier heinous, though he conceived, not of á and Foot Guards, to the number of near very dangerous nature. From the little 400, attended; and, through their acti
he had heard he had no doubt that the vity, and the judicious manner in which paffages extracted by the Right Hort. they were flationed, confufion, and the Gentleman, were so libellous, that no accidents that are usually inseparable context could rescue them coming with from it, were much prevented. in that description; but as it would not It was impoflible for us not to be be right for the House upon fo Night Itruck with the symmetry of the building a suggestion as a Member reading ex- erected for the trial, the convenient dil
tracts, to ground a motion, however o. position of its parts, and the appearance therwise proper, 'he wished the Right of awful grandeur through the whole. Hon. Gentleman would suffer the pam- But all these vanished, or were absorbphlet to remain on the table for a day, ed in the contemplation of the beauteous in order that Gentlemen who wished to females that graced the benches, and know the contents before they voted, dispelled the awe we felt, when we conmight read it, and forbear to make any sidered that this was the seat of Vindicother motion, " than that the pamphlet tive Justice, complained of as a libel be taken into Rich in beauty as in dress--they could consideration on any future day," Wità not be viewed without admiration and
emotion--their jewels darted light, but forth, thou and thy bail, or thou wilt for. their eyes hot fire. They, occupied feit thy recognizance.' near three-fourths of the building. Mr Hastings was immediately brought
Soon after eleven o'clock, the mernbers to the bar hy Sir Francis Molyneux, of the Committee appointed to manage Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He the impeachment on the part of the was attended by his bondimen, Sir Fran. Commons, entered Westminister Hali cis Sykes, and Mr Sullivan ; and, kneel. in full duis, and feated themselves in the ing at the bar in the box aligned for the boxes prepared for their reception. Mr prisoner, he was desired to rile, which he Burke led the procession.
accordingly did. The other inembers followed by de- The Serjeant at Arms then made progrer's; as their namnes were called over clamation, which he did audibly, and with în their own House they departed from good articulation, it, and repaired to the seats deftined for “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez. Whereas Charthem in the Hall. In the center of the ges of 'High Crimes and Misdemeanours front row was an armed chair for the have been exhibited by the HonourSpeaker
able the House of Conmons in the name A little before twelve o'clock her Ma of themselves and of all the Commons jefty entered; the did not appear in the of Great Britain, against Warren Hafa box prepared for her, but in a part of tings, Efq; all persons concerned are to the Duke of Newcastle's gallery, which take notice that he now stands upon his was divided from the reft by bars and trial, and they may come forth in order side-curtains. A large chair of state was to make good the said Charges." placed for her, in which he was pleased Froclamation being made, the Lord to ftat herself.
Chancellor role, and addressed the priloOn her Majesty's right, sat the Prin- ner as follows : cess Royal, on her left, the Princess Eli- « Warren Hastings, zabeth ; to the right of the former, the " You stand at the bar of this Court Princess Augufta ; to the left of the lat- charged with High Crimes and Misde, ter, the Princess Mary.
meanours, a copy of which has been des At twelve o'clock began the proceslion livered to you; you have been allowed of the Lords from their own Hquße; the counsel, and a long time has been given march was folemn, fuited to the charac- to you for your defence; but this is not ter of judges and the occasion which had to be considered as indulgence to you, as imposed upon them that venerable cha- it arose from the necessity of the case, radter.
the crimes with which you are charged The Peers were preceded by being stated to have been committed at The Lord Chancellor's attendants—wo a distant place. These charges contain and two.
the most weighty allegations, and they The Clerks of the House of Lords. come from the highest authority: this The Masters in Chancery two circumstance, however, though it carries and two.
with it the most serious importance, is The Judges.
not to prevent you from making your Scrjeants Adair and Hill. defence in a firm and collected manner, The Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod. in the confidence that as a British subject, Sir Francis Molyneux, Gentleinan Vlher you are entitled to, and will receive, full of the Black Rod.
justice from a British Court." Two Heralds.
To which Mr Hastings made almost The Lords Barons-two and two. verbatim the following answer : The Lords Bithops--two and two. “ My Lords, The Lords Viscounts two and two. “ I am come to this high tribunal e
The Lords Earlstwo and two. qually impressed with a confidence in my The Lords Marquisses two and two. own integrity, and in the justice of the The Lords Dukes--two and two. Court before which I now stand.” The Mace-Bearer.
The Clerks of the House then proceedThe Lord Chancellor, with his train ed to read a charge, and an answer to it borne.
alternately, till they got through feven; (All in their Parliament robes.) by that time it was half an hour after When the Peers were all feated, the five o'clock, and nearly dark. Chancellor's Mace-bearer made a procla- The Marquis of Stafford then moved, mation for fience. He then said, in a bud that their Lordhhips should adjourn (till voice, “ Warren Hastings, Esq; come, to-norrow), to the House of Peers. The APPENDIX to Vol. VII,