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tions, as will be the distinguishing mark or this session, and of your Excellency's administration.
Hii Excellency the Lord Lieutenants Anjhncr.
My Lords, "I return you my sincere thinks *' for this very kind and obliging "Address. 1 feel myself very hap"py in possessing your good opi"nion, which it (hali be my con"stant study to preserve. You "may be assured that I will moll ** faithfully represent to his Majes"ty your loyalty and attachment; "and I flatter myself that I shall "have frequent orcasions of doing "you that justice, ia a manner "honourable to you, and most "pleasing to myself."
?"» bis Excellency Simon Earl Harcourt, Lord Lieutenant - General, and General-Governor of Ireland.
Tie bumble Address cf the Knights, Citizens, and Burgejfts, in Parliament assembled.
May it please your Excellency,
WE, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Ireland in parliament assembled, do with the greatest cheerfulness attend your Excellency, to return our sincere thanks for your most excellent speech to both Houses of parliament.
We are happy in receiving from your Excellency the assurance of the continuance of his Majesty's paternal regards for his dutiful and affectionate subjects of this kingdom, of which we esteem it a particular instance, that he has appointed for
our chief governor a nobleman of approved experience, wisdom and abilities, and to whose great virtues and distinguished character we justly look up with the fulli it confidence and the highest re/pect.
His Majesty's conduct, in making the public good the constant rule of his actions, will be our surest guide in the discharge of our duty, which we shall effectually accomplish, by shewing the same uniform attention to the good of cur country, that his Majesty has invariably exerted in promoting the geneial happiness of all his people: and we are fully convinced, that your Excellency will steadily and uniformly pursue that illustrious example of attention to the public good, which, you have so powerfully recommended to cu<r imitation.
We shall carefully consider the public account*, and vvill cheerfully grant the supplies necessary to support his Majesty's government with honour, as far as the siate and circumstances o;" our country will permit, and in the manner that will be most easy to our fellow-subjects of this kingdom, who are deeply interested in the support of thiit mild and just government, necessary for carryii g into execution those laws upoo which the preservation and security of liberty and property, and the maintenance os the peace and good order o!' the public must entirely depend: and" we confide in your Excellency's wisdom and justice, that those supplies will be faithfully applied, and frugal;y administered.
We thankfully acknowledge your Excellency's goodness, in pointing out the laws of cur country as the first and most impoitaoc objects of our consideration, and in directing
directing cur attention to such as concern the religion and morals, the security and good order of the people.
There cannot be a more convincing proof of your Excellency's regard for the welfare of this kingdom, than your recommending lb particularly to our consideration, that principal source of our wealth the linen manufacture, the extension of which, and the support whereof at foreign markets, are objects of ihe highest importance to this nation, and at this time call in a peculiar manner for your £xcellency's patronage and protection,; and your Excellency's recommendation of our charteric bools will .be ah additional incitement to us to promote and encourage those useful seminaries of true religion and industry: We shall co-operate with your Excellency, with equal zeal in maintaining the ;honour and dignity of the crown, as in promoting the good of this .kingdom, sensible that those objects equally tend to the happiness of the people.
Our future conduct will, we hope, confirm the approbation which your Excellency has expressed of our attachment to his Majesty, and ■of our zeal iu the public service;
"I shall endeavour, by an earned "attention to -my duty to the *' King, and to the prosperity and "service of this country, to de"serve the continuance of their "good opinion."
Tbe Lords Protest against tbe East India Regulating Bill.
Die Venerir, 11° Junii, 1773.
BECAUSE the preamble to this bill, stating defects in the powers of the East India Company, abuses in its administration, and injuries to public and commercial credit, ought to have been sapported by evidence adapted to the nature os the several matters alledged. But the production of charters has been refused by the House; no witnesses have been called to ascertain the existence or quality of the supposed abuses; no enquiry has been made into the condition of public credit; and no state of the Company's commercial assairs have ever been laid before
zdly. Because, if the defects in the charters, and abuses in tbe administration of the Company exiil and we have every reason to expect, in the manner stated in the preamthat your Excellency's adminiitra- ble, no effectual provision is made
tion will demonstrate that you have nothing more sincerely at heart than the wellare and prosperity of Ireland.
Hit Excellency tbe Lord Lieutenant's
''S I return the House, of Com"mons my belt thanks for their «• very kind and obliging address.
in the enacting part of the bill for supplying the one, or reforming the other: on the contrary, the utmost distraction is introduced into the whole œconomy of their affairs. The nomination to the subordinate presidencies, and inferior offices in India, is left to the Company, but a superior presidency is appointed by parliament to govern those inferior officers. The superior presidency lidency is to receive orders from tbe court of directors; but it is left to the private will of the King how far these orders shall be obeyed. The presidency is appointed to make ordinances and regulations, bu: neither directors or Company are to determine on their validity. The King alone is to allow or disallow those acts, as he shall chuse to signify bis pleasure under his sign manuel. This mode of veiling ultimately the whole management of th<? Company's weighty political affairs, their vast revenues, and their extensive commerce, in the King's private direction, without any provision in the bill for the intervention of any public body, (either the East-India Company or the privy-council) or any responsible public minister, is, we insist, not only an high and dangerous violation of the yet unquestioned charters of the Company, but a total subversion of all the principles of the law and constitution of this kingdom.
jJly- Because the election of executive offices in parliament is plainly unconstitutional, and an example of the most pernicious kind, productive of intrigue and faction, and calculated for extending a corrupt influence in the crown. It frees ministers from responsibility, whilst it leaves them all the effect of patronage. It defeats the wise design of the constitution, which placed the nomination of all officers, either immediately or derivatively, in the crown, whilst it committed the check upon improper nominations to parliament But this bill, by confounding those powers which the constitution meant to keep separate, has destroyed this controul, 'Vol- XVI.
along with every wise provision of the laws to prevent the abuses in the nomination to; or exercise of, office.
4thly. Because this usurpation of the Company's rights in appointing the servants is loaded with the additional injustice of a compulsory payment of salaries, arbitrarily fixed and chargeable on the Company's revenues, without their consent.
5thly. Because the violation of the charter is not justified by the importance of the provisions of this bill, which operates only to transfer patronage without conferring new powers, it being expressly provided by the bill, that these powers should be the same as were formerly exercised by the Company's servants, under the Company's authority; neither is any advantage gained with regard to the particular officers named in this bill, the person first in rank and importance in the new parliamentary presidency, being the very same now at the head of the Company's presidency at Bengal. We mean to reflect neither upon that gentleman, nor any other, who (for any thing we know to the contrary) may be men of competent ability and good character; but we think ourselves bound to dedaie against the manifest contradiction and absurdity of this bill, which, stating abuses as now existing in India, for the ground of its regulations, yet appoints the very persons to preside there, who, if the allegations in the bill be true, must be concerned, either by neglect, or actual com-, mission, in all the abuses complained of.
6thly. Because the appointing
judges by the nomination of the
[R] crown. crown, with large salaries payable out of the Company's revenue, without the Company's consent, either to the appointment or the payment, is an act of flagrant injustice, and an outrage on all the rights of propetty. No necessity can be pleaded in savour os this violence, as the Company did last year voluntarily propose a nomination of judges, with far better provisions for securing a proper appointment, than any contained in this bill.
7thly. Because the clause of this bill, which deprives of all share in the management of their own property, all proprietors not possessed of 10001. capital stock, disfranchising without the assignment of any delinquency or abuse, no less than 1246 persons legally qualified, is an heinous act of injustice, oppression, and absurdity, and a gross perversion of the high powers entrusted to legislature; the part of the charter which regulates the right of voting was made to establish exclusively that class of voters which this act has destroyed; the charter kno*s of no right of voting, but the possession of 500 I. capital stock. It excludes all title to .'iperior influence from superior property. The several laws to prevent the splitting of stock are all in affirmance of this principle, and nude to secure this voter. But by a system of contradiction, that, except in this bill, has no example, the very grievance of splitting of Hock, by which the proprietor under 1000I. has been injured, is assigned as the sole ground for depriving him of his franchise. This lower pr >prietor could not p sfibly have been guilty of this offence, and yet he is punched; and the lar^e stockholder,
who alone could be guilty of the splitting, is indulged with new privileges, in contradiction to the spirit os that charter which he is supposed to have violited.
8thly. Because the great principle upon which the bill has been supported will not only in this, but in all cafes, justify every infringment of the national faith, and render parliamentary sanction the worst of all securities. We never can admit that a mere speculation of political improvement can justify parliament in taking away rights, which it expressly covenanted to preserve, especially when it has received a valuable consideration for the franchises so stipulated. Nor are grants of parliament under these circumstances to be considered as gratuitous, returnable merely at the pleasure of the giver; but matters of binding contract, forfeitable only on such delinquency or necessity as is implied in the nature of every other bargain. With such matters before us that require the best, we are denied all manner of information. A bill, the object of which hat taken the Commons near eight months to consider, is precipitated through this house in little more than eight days, without any attention to parliamentary usage or decorum; as if the Lords were che lowest of ministerial tools, who are not to be indulged even with an appearanre of discussion, coneprning the mandates they receive.
In this situation we feel the honour of the peerage tarnished, and its dignity degraded. If the provisions and precedent of this bill should render the public faith of Great Britain of no estimation, the franchises, rights and properties of Englishmen Englishmen precarious, and the peerage distinguishable only by a more than common measure of indolence and servility; if the boundless fund of corruption furnished by this bill to the servants of the crown, should efface every idea of honour, public spirit, and independence from every rank of people, after struggling vainly against these evils, we have nothing left but the satisfaction of recording our names to posterity, as those who resisted the whole of this iniquitous system, and as men who had no share in betraying to blind prejudices or sordid interest every thing that has hitherto been held sacred in this country.
Second Pretest of the Lords, upon the Duke of Richmond'/ Motion, for the making certain Enquiries relative to the East-India Company, and the holding of a Conference ivith the Commons upon that Subjet?, being, after a jhort Debate, rejected.
bieLuna*, 14° Janii, 1773.
BECAUSE a bill, evidently taking away, without consent or compensation, several rights and privileges now enjoyed by a great corporate body, purchased for a
valuable consideration, and confirmed by the most solemn sanctions of parliamentary faith, can be justified only by such delinquency as incurs a forfeiture of thole rights, or by such evident and urgent necessity as admits of no method consistent with the charter of the company, for the immediate preservation os thole objects for which the corporation was formed. The evidence therefore of such delinquency, or such nee ssity, depending essentially on matters of fact and record, it is impossible for peers to proceed on this business in a proper manner, while they are unfurnished with that information which it wa* our duty to demand, and which it was the disposition of the house to refuse.
Secondly, Because the House of Commons had appointed committees to examine into the state and condition of the East-India Company, and have from them received several reports previous to the bringing in this bill j a previous course of the fame kind is equally necessary in this house; nor is it enough for lords to be informed from common conversation, that other men have done their duty, as a reason for neglecting ours. This house nevertheless (in conformity to its late method of proceeding, but in direct contradiction to the uniform practice and principle of better times) has wholly declined to make any eno^iiry into this important and delicate subject; though luch enquiry has been strongly recommended from the throne at the opening of this session. We conceive that those who advised that speech were obliged, as well from consistency as from respect to the
[£] 2 crown,