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vinced that the proving the existence ther or not it should be brought beof the distress pointed to, with a view fore them. Upon this principle, the to obtain its redr ss had nothing im- present bill ought to be rejected, for proper in it. He lamented that the it would tend to establish an inforlaws were fo impertect; and ex. mality. claimed against the cruelty of fhut- Insolvent acts too had become so ting up individuals for life within frequent, that they were expected the walls of a prison.

with confidence ; and it was a mat. Lord Mansfield affirmed, that ter of speculation and care to the the more he reflected on the measure fraudulent debtor to take a full ad. of calling witnefles to the bar of the vantage of them. Jails communihouse of peers on the business be- cated with jails ; and an alarmning fore them, he was the more con- dishonesty was encouraged and fosvinced of its impropriery. It was tered throughout the kingdom. against all the rules by which they No inclination being discovered were usually directed. A bill ought among the peers to divide with the to speak for itself; and to carry earl of Effingham, his bill was reits meaning on the face of it. If jected; and he protested against witnesses were to prove the pro. what he conceived to be an impro. priety of a bill, the sense of the house per conduct of the house. ought previously to be taken, whe



Bank concerning Public Money. A remarkable Motion by Mr. Pitt. Expen

disure of Money Inefficacy of the Controul of the Exchequer. The Propriety of controulling Accountants. Amendments upon the Motion of Mr. Pitt. Address to the king to improve the Controul of the Exchequer. Speech from the Throne. The Prorogation of the Parliament. The Definitive Treaties svith France and Spain. The Definitive Trraty with America. The Treaty with the Dutch. The Proclamation of the Peace.

N July 1o.

der of the commons, circumstance. He meant not, howe lord John Cavendish fubmitted to ever, to say, that this immense fum their observation, a book or volume was due to the public, and might be which contained, “ A list of the recovered. Much of it, no doubt, public acc u tants, who have re- had been fubitantially paid. But ceived public money by way of im- with regard to what had been paid, prest and upon account, and who have it appeared not that it had been acnot yet accounted for the fome, and of counted for formally, according to those persons from whom balances of the rules of the Exchequer. At the declared accounts are still due." time of its inftitution, the Exchequer

This book being laid upon the ta- was adapted more particularly to ble, Mr. Pitt role to make a motion the regulation and controul of exwith regard to it. He stated that the penditure for domestic uses. With book before them was an cvidence, this limitation in its aim and pur. that upwards of forry four millions polc, it was not therefore a matter of the public money was unaccount of surprize, that in the progress of

time, it Thould become inadequate and others to the principal accountto the controul of the growing 'ex- ants. But as the forms of the Ex. pences of the country. It was not chequer required that their accounts to be wondered af, that it was unable mould have passed the auditor of to check the extenfive expences to the impreft before they were finally which the nation had of late years discharged, they still remained as been compelled to submit. At the sub-accountants chargeable with batermination, therefore of a mort lances unaccounted for. With reun happy and ruinous war, it con- gard to individuals who had aclifted with policy, that they should counted fubftantially but not forturn their scrutiny to a matter which mally, the inquiry was as neceffary evidently required improvement and as with respect to others who were regulation.

actually in debt to the public It 11_ it was, indeed, a truth, that would serve to clear their characters, the Exchequer was unequal to the and give thein an early quictus. controul of extensive expenditure, It was likewife fit that an inquiry it was a matter of great neceffity to Mould be made after those who itood find out the means to make it ade- indebred for suis long due, and not quate and applicable. The abuses likely to be recovered. If such perfollowing from its want of eficacy fons were living, their characters and energy, were abundant and pale should be scrutinized, and if dead, pable ; and they might be carried to those of their representatives. Mes an extremity that would endanger thods Tould be taken to find out the existence of the country. A what of such debts were good, and check immediate and powerful what bad.

powerful what bad. There were likewise acought to prevail, and exert its vie countants who had never accounted gour over every species of public ex- at all; and from whom the public penditure from the largest sum to the might derive fome benefit. For that lowest which was issued. It was with the public should lose as little as • view to this check, that he had possible, was à maxim that could not thought of the motion which he was be controveited about to offer to the confideration of Upon these grounds he moved, the house.

" That an huñible address be pre. 'There were other considerations sented to his inajesty, that it appears also which weighed with him. It was that large suins of money which fit to ascertain what balances were in have at different times, and many of the hands of such sub-accountants as them very long since been paid for had not accounted for them at all, public services to fub-accountants; what were to be deemed irrecover. amounting in the duhole to above able, and what were substantially forty-fort millions, have not yet accounred for, though not accord. been accounted for before the audi, ing to the strict rules of the Exche. tors of the iinpreft; and that though quer. He was conscious, that in the many of them may have been other. book there were a great many names wife accounted for in the coursé of against which large fums were' office, yet others to a very large entered, which had in fact been amount have not been accounted for extinguished. Some servants of the at all. crown had accounted for their ba: " That it appears to the house to lances to the creasury, fonie to the be of the utmost importance, that comptroller general of the army, all public accounts should be brought



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forward with as little delay as possi- instances of persons who stood upon ble; and that therefore they do hum. the book in question as accountable bly beseech bis majesty to be graci- for Give hundred thousand pounds, oully pleased to give directions that apd to whom there was yet a balance the most effectual measures Mould be due by the public. It was liketaken to inquire concerning the per- wise an object worthy of remark, sons to whom the said 'lums have that the sub-accountants could not been issued, or their legal represen- be set infuper upon the roll till a tatives; an particularly those to declaration took place of the final whom money has been issued in the account of the principals. There course of the late expensive war; and were upwards of thirty-three millions to take measures in all cases where of the sums placed against the names there shall appear to be sufficient of the sub-accountants which arose ground to compel them in due course out of the accounts of the paymasters of law to account for the same; and general, some of which had been that this house will in due time co- paffed, and some of which had not operate in such measures as may on been passed. Nor did he conceive that fuil deliberation appear to be proper, the barons of the Exchequer, who suin order to prevent the like delays perintend the auditors of the impreft, for the future."

were inactive or inattentive to compel This motion was seconded by lord accountants to render their accounts Mahon. It pafled not, however, For some years past the whole court unobjected to, and unopposed. Sir had fat upon the appofal, as it Grey Cooper, while he allowed that was termed, of the sheriff of Midthe book upon the table had risen dlesex, in which are comprehended out of the useful diligence of an the accounts of all the great of. able officer, observed, that it had ficers of the crown. The deputy not been produced as the basis of auditors attend; and upon the readthe motion which had been made ing of the half-yearly certificates, by the right honourable gentleman. they demand of the sheriff what he It was a matter of extreme doubt has done on this or that writ against with him, whether it ought to have such and tuch a person. Whether been laid upon the table of the he has returned iftues against them, house of commons. For it was nei- and to what an amount? The dether right nor expedient that its puty auditors are examined concern. contents should be revealed to the ing the circumstances of each case; world. The framer of the mo- and particularly whether the action had allowed that the book countant who appears to have been was a voucher for suins which had served with a process by the fheriff been actually accounted for. Now has delivered his vouchers and acthe discovery of its contents might counts, or any, and what part of of consequence tend to destroy or them, or has proceeded with regard impair the credit of individuals to them. If the issues returned by who were concerned in mercantile the sheriff are {mall, the court may transactions. It was no indifferent take up the matter, and order the matter to many contractors em- sheriff to return larger issues, more ployed in the service of the nation, adequate in their opinion to the dethat they stood upon record as fault and the suins unaccounted for. debtors to the public in fums to an These were regular and useful for, immenfe anouni, and were liable to malities. the procels of the crown. There were It was, notwithstanding, admitted

by quiry, it



by fir Grey Cooper, that the pro- had gone abroad that forty-nine or cess of the court, and the power of fifty millions of the public wealth compulsion against defaulters, were were unaccounted for. But that not calculated for the auditing and prodigious charge had now been paffing the accounts of the expendi- greatly reduced. It was now stated iure of the public money during the at forty-four inillions ; and even the last war; and that the process from this state there were deducagainst sub-accountants wanted an tions. For the right honourable amendment.

gentleman who had made the moLord North was ready to ac- tion, was disposed to believe that knowledge that the compiler of the the greatest part of it had been acbook before the house, was a per- counted for substantially though not son of diligence, talents, and pro- formally. bity. The work, however, being At the same time it was worthy the performance of a private indi- of consideration, that thirty mil. vidual, being unsubscribed, and lions of the amount stated in the book having no official authority, it was on the table, belonged to the acnot a proper foundation


which counts of Mr. Rigby, Mr. Burke, parliament could build any pro- and Mr. Barré; and that of the ceedings. It was not even of suffici. balances of these gentlemen, the ent authenticity to justify any grave

justify any grave greatest part had been paid in fince of formal proceeding of the house the compilation of that perfor. of commons; and, therefore, with mance. In general, too, it ought regard to any retrospective in- not to escape remark, that the ac

inadmissible counts of balances in the hands of voucher, It might, however, be public accountants, were in reality admitted as a substantial evidence fo fluctuating, that their amount for the promotion of a better mode could hardly be ascertained with of keeping and passing the public precision at any given period. The accounts. For it was undoubtedly extent of consequence of the sum an illustration of the fact, that the unaccounted for to the public, was forms of the Exchequer now in uncertain. It was obvious, howuse, though they might be expe. ever, that it was far beneath the dient and applicable in former ages, amount of forty-four millions. This were not effectual for the present was demonstrable froi decisive times, and required, accordingly, to vouchers; and its greatness was be improved in extensiveness and every day decreasing. It therefore operation.

followed that charges or criminaWith regard to contractors and tions on grounds which were prethose who dealt with the Treasury carious, ought to be made with he. upon commission, it was certainly litation and with modesty, very true, that in the book on the Mr. Sheridan was not unfriendly table there might be placed large to the nature of the address ; but fums oppofite to their names. But opposed the expression of the mothey were not, upon that account, tion. The language of the motion to be considered as defaulcers. It bore, that it appeared to the house, would be found, in general, that that large sums of money, amount. they had performed the services they ing to above forty-four millions, bad undertaken before they had re- had not been accounted for. ·Now, ceived the money of the public. It the house had no title to make an ar


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sertion of this kind. The fact was authorities upon which it was too itrong to be admitted without founded, were in reality the only examination; and no farisfactory authorities, which could be resorted evidence had been brought to es. to upon the occasion. And if they tablish it. The book upon the table had singly been laid upon the table, was no proper voucher of it. It the commons could not for one mohad not that power of authenticity ment have hesitated to consider them that was sufficient to enforce belief, as grounds of proceeding the most and to be the basis of credit. What sure, and the most warrantable. was it? It was a collection of extracts The motion he had made was ac. which had ihe fanction of no proof. cordingly reasonable and well foundThere was even no attestation that ed in the greatest degree; and if they were correct. No individual an opposition was made to it, gave them his authority : no office while its grounds were so unexcepoffered to uphold them. They were tionable, and while it was so clear private and unsupported notes and of party and politics, what must be memorandums : they were no bet- the sentiments of the people withter than anonymous pamphlets. He out doors! It would excite a black would not impeach the industry, or suspicion against the ministers of the virtue of the compiler. But the crown; and it would be conit consisted not with the aignity or ceived, that it was their wish to justice of the house to give implicit conceal from the public, a fact ro confidence to the private labours of important as that above forty-four any individual whatsoever. He there- millions of money had not been acfore wilhed that the introductory counted for before the auditors of the part of the motion were fo expressed imprelt. To weaken the authenticity as to meet his meaning, and to ob- of the book on the table, by comviate his objection.

paring it to anonymous pamphlete, Mr. Pitt was happy to hear the which the treasury might purchase objection which had been made by from hirelings, was a frivolous subMr. Sheridan. But it was his opi- terfuge. No allusion whatsoever nion, that if it had been started by could be more inapplicable. The any member in opposition to the mi. inquiry he proposed was fit and pistry, it would have been con- proper; and if ministers chose to opstrued into an affront upon the no. pole it, they muft submit to the odium ble lord at the head of the Exche. That ought to overwhelm them. He quer. For it was the import of the had done his duty, and would noç objection, that the noble lord had abandon his motion. presented to the house a book or Mr. Sheridan protested that he paper of no authority.

had never meant to put any affront It was in vain, however, to re- upon the noble lord at the head of probate so strongly the genuineness the Exchequer. In this affirmation, of the book. Allufions had been he trusted he would readily be bemade to the ability, the correctness, lieved. At the same time it was and the virtue of the compiler; and demonstratively evident, that neiit was not to be disputed, that he ther that noble lord, nor any other had collected it from the infuper lift, minister, who brought officially into from the writs of diftringas ad compu. the house in obedience to its order, tandam, and from other documents any book or paper, was to be con• in the Exchequer office, of which fidered as relponable for its authen. the accuracy was indubitable. The ticity. I was witli reluctance that


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