THE CUMBERLAND PACQUET and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser, Tuesday,April 22, 1777
No. 132 3d. Week VOL. III 4th Quarter Price Three-pence
Where Moderation dwells, the Soul admits Distinct Ideas, and Matur'd Debate; an Eye Impartial, and an Even Scale................Hence Wisdom found, and unrepenting Choice
This Paper may be constantly seen in LONDON, at the Chapter, Peele's & New Lloyd's Coffee House, at MR. STAINTON's Blestom's Inn, Laurence-Lane, and at the Constitution Punch-House, Drury Lane.
KING'S MESSAGE / HOUSE OF COMMONS....Part 1
Some Account of what passed in the House of Commons on Wednesday, relative to the King's Message, MR. WILKES and MR. LUTTRELL's intended Motion, and the Motion of Adjournment.
At a quarter before three o'clock, the private business being finished, MR. WILKES gave notice, that he would on the first open day in the course of next week, move for leave to bring in a bill to secure the rights of all the *estors in this kingdom. He a*l*ed a few words on the violated rights of the Freeholder of the county of Middlesex; and shortly stated the necessity of *****in and passing a law to prevent in future, a repetition of the same dangerous and unconstitutional measure, that of transferring the constituent rights of the people, and vesting them in the House of Commons.
As soon as the house was silent, MR. T. LUTTREL rose and informed the house that he meant, in the course of next week, to make a motion for rescinding the standing order of the house, for the exclusion of strangers from the gallery; and has given this early notice, on purpose that gentlemen would turn their thoughts to the subject and consider whether it would be eligible to res*a* the order, to dispense with it, or put the mode of admission under such regulations, as might be the means of prevening all kind of inconvenience to the members.
He quoted several precedents of prime authority, in support of the suspention of standing orders of the house; and referred to one particularly, in the reign of one of the Edwards, to shew that standing orders were no longer deemed sacred, than they were found necessary, or were founded in propriety.
He observed that the very nature and constitution of that house, shewed the propriety of admitting the electors to be present at their proceedings, debates, and resolutions. The representatives of the people were the servants of the public, or they had no right to sit there; those that sent them had a right to be acquainted with their contact, and the notices they acted on: no faithful representative could wish to have those motives concealed; and he hoped, unprincipled as mankind was become, no member should venture to shew that he wished to have his conduct concealed from his constituents, merely because it would not stand the tell of public observation; or that he acted upon principles manifestly repugnant to those of the persons who entrusted him with the conservation of their property and privileges.
If then this mode of reasoning to is unanswerable, and that not a single objection remained, but the inconvenience which might happen to the members in full and crowded houses, the propriety of the intended motion would be established by such an acknowledgement; and all that would remain to be settled, would be, to put the admission of strangers into the gallery under such regulations, as to prevent the members at all times from being interrupted or in*ommoded, in their seats, or in those passages, to and from them.
He threw out several broad insinuations of partiality; and said that the standing order was seldom enforced or relaxed, but to answer particular purposes.
SIR FLETCHER NORTON rose from the chair, and observed, that as enforcing the standing order was entrusted to him, as Speaker of that house, he knew of no other person to whom the honourable gentleman could have imputed any partial conduct. He begged the honourable gentleman's pardon if he conceived him; but standing as he did, he had no right to presume that the censure was intended for any other person.
He was nevertheless conscious of the injustice of the charge; for he could assert with justice that he had never acted from partial motives, but had uniformly, at all times, endeavoured to accommodate gentlemen on every side of the house, as far as lay in his p****, free from prejudice or predilection, and if he had acted otherwise, he should not wish nor would he be any longer worthy to sit in that chair, or wear that black gown.
He had only acted in obedience to the standing order, if he had declined to see it indu**ed, it would be, in his opinion, treating the house with disrespect, and would be ***** neglect of duty. For his part, whenever the house thought proper to rescind, dispense with their order, or put it under regulation, he should cheerfully acquiesce; as it was much more agreeable to his nature to oblige his friends, than be compelled to give **** ***, preemptory denials, ,which was necessarily the **** ****, and must continue so till the standing order should be included or dispensed with.
MR. LUTTREL said, he did not intend any reflection on the chair, and said he was ready to repeat his words, as nearly as he could recollect them; and contended, that they were by no means pointed at the chair in particular.
The Speaker replied, that there was no occasion; he was now satisfied that they contained no personal allusion; and there the affair dropped.
LORD NORTON then rose and delivered the messages for which (see our last) from his Majesty, which has been read by the clerk, he moved to have referred to the committee of supply to be taken into consideration on Wednesday last. His Lordship observed that it had been ******* on such an occasion to go into the consideration of the message immediately; but that he thought proper, for their fuller and ***tion, to lay ****accounts before the house, that they might be in possession of the several heads of expenditure, whereby the civil list debt **** incurred, before they proceed to vote the money. He should therefore move to have the committee of supply defered till Wednesday.
MR. BAKER observed, that the noble Lord's language was, indeed, of a very novel nature. His Lordship had acknowledged it to be the constant rule to go into the business of such messages as soon as received; yet, without assigning any special reason to create the distinction on the present occasion, the noble Lord has moved to postpone the business for a week. Either there was always a reason to go instantly into the consideration of royal messages, or there was never any. The fact was, why depart from an established rule ? If there was not, why not shew in what manner, or in what circumstance, the message of this day differs from every other that preceded it ?
GOVERNOR JOHNSTONE pursued the idea of his honourable friend, and wished that administration would speak out. Were administration agreed among themselves; Or had they fabricated accounts, purely to furnish parliament with a decent pretence to vote away the public money. No man in that house would be readier to pay a proper attention and regard to a message from the crown, than he would, but wished more to have its **** and dignity preserved and supported; but it was mean and ignoble in the representatives of the people, to *** such sums of money, without knowing previously how it was expended.
It was the only check the public has, to change a due administration of government; and if that power was once relinquished, or grossly abused, the terms of a limited government was a farce. The power in any country which commands the purse, commands the nation; and there was no essential difference between the possessing the public purse, and being able to command it.
The last message was accompanied by no papers; the money was granted first, and the accounts followed after. The present message is preceded by accounts, and the consequence will be exactly the same
The event in either case would be the same; for if the accounts meant any thing, they meant to inform the house how the money was expended; and he appealed to the most expert accountant in the house, why they had asked, at so short a notice, make himself so thoroughly acquainted with the content of the papers now presented, as to decide whether the debt was properly incurred. It was his opinion, therefore, that the papers ought to have preceded the message, and that the time given to consider them was in******** short.
LORD NORTH replied, that a week was full time to learn the necessary information; that his state of health had been very indifferent for some weeks past, and he was ******* very poorly; and that the principal reason why he ****** to postpone the consideration of the message till Wednesday, was, that he hoped by that day to be in sufficient health to ***** to be able to answer any questions which g*al*n*n might ****** **** proper, in order to elucidate whatever should ****** ****** ***** or unintelligible on the face of the accounts.
MR. STANLEY said he had searched the journal, and found that the invariable rule had been in such cases to go into the message immediately from 1713 to 1769, the date of the last message, inclusive; but, whenever the **sage might have been, he thought the house were much obliged to then able Lord for his candour to accompany the message with the accounts on which the message was founded. The putting off the consideration for a week, was another instance of the noble Lord's candour; as great members were absent from their duty in parliament, not expecting that anything of consequence would be so **** agitated; that probably by Wednesday the greatest part of the members would be returned from the country; and that, if no other reason existed, it was an indulgence due to the noble Lord himself, to defer the ******uration till his Lordship's health was re-established. The motion was agreed to with no further opposition.
MR. STANLEY then moved that the house should adjourn over for a week, which, after a short altercation, was agreed to, 191 to 37.