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this if the law should pass; or how archy must yield to a pure demo-
a subject could have less protec- cracy: it would then be our duty
tion, or ministers more despotic' (for the former reasons) to have re-
power. This system was justified course to it as the best nostrum for
only on a supposed necessity. The the secret malady of that day: and
virtues of lord Cornwallis, instead the sovereign, then on the throne,
of those of the constitution, were would find that democracy tended
to be relied on; and we were to to preserve monarchy. He knew
derive our security fiom believing not what a secret committee might
that he was not better than his suc- decide when monarchy was to be
cessor. But in this system injuries overturned; but from the present
must be silently borne, because procedent it must not be chosen
complaint were treason : a more from the king's ministers. Hur
iniquitous one was never framed; man wisdom could not foretell
and if it should ever be in his pow. whither the present revolutionary.
er to assist in bringing those mic principles might lead; but the argu-
nisters to justice, who had abused ments at present proved that no
the public confidence, and the in- government had an immutable
fluence of the ciown to the destruc. basis; but must yield not only to
tion of the rights of the subject, he force, but even to such reasoning
would cagerly and zealously exer- as might rashly be admitted as
cise it. The constitution was torn sound by their lordships.
from its basis ;, its principles set · Lord Hay said he felt that the
afloat; we were as much as France measure trenched upon the consti-
under a revolutionary government, tution; but having heard, from al-
and ignorant where it would set- most every noble lord who knew
Ne. No man more venerated the the situation of Ireland, of its abso.
limited monarchical constitution lute necessity, he must assent to it.
than himself, or would sacrifice The secretary of state rose to re-
more to preserve it. Ten years ply, saying, that it was in vain for
ago, what noble lord would not him to try to justify the bill, since
bave died in resisting what we the noble earl did not believe a'
were now forging for Ireland ? word of the report on which it was:
What was then his duty remained founded.
equally coercive on his mind now. The earl of Caernarvon said, that
Both the people and the crown had he took for granted that the facts
fundamental rights; but their prin- were fully proved; but what he
ciples had been undermined by the said was, that he did not believe :
promoters of this act, which ada the inferences deduced from them.
Yanced the sovereiga's by the ex- The secretary of state resumed
tinction of the people's rights: but his speech, saying, that even after s
they had even shaken the security the noble earl's explanation a jus-
of the crown: for, if the assertions tification of the bill from him would :
of ministers were true, the present be of no consequence. Another
state of the country did not admit a noble earl had complained, that he
Limited monarchy; and absolute had not argued to prove the neces- :
power was necessary. In the fu- sity of passing the bill; which
ture revolution of circumstances, was, because the report proved the
the very reverse of the present. necessity, and that the arguments
must take place, and then mon, therein would be more impressive

than

than any of his own. The same came a real object of terror to noble earl had diverted himself all offenders : he could take on with the jesting term of a substitute himself to say, that if the judges kad administration. He said no man come into the town, and stayed the more lamented the loss of the great usual time (a week), not a single talents of luis predecessors; but if trial, concluded by him, could hare public affairs were lately so much gone on for want ry eriderce." The mended, as was asserted, this was earl then left the house to judge, no unfavourable comment on the from this statement of Mr. Ormsby, conduct of the present administra- whether the constitution was im. tion, in whose hands the happy proved by its change in judicature. change had been wrought. He The secretary of staie resumed read passages from the two reports his speech, and read the oath, in to convince the house, that if which the United Irish swore soa another noble lord (Fitzwilliam) lemnly to assist the French to the had proceeded into the statement utmost, in subverting the governs of the magistrate's opinion, which ment and constitution, and des he had quoted, he would have throning the monarch. A noble been found a strong advocate for duke had stated, that at one of the martial law in Ireland. He also assizes in Ireland many had beer tead an extract from Mr. Ormsby's tried and convicted; which was evidence (who had acted at courts« merely owing to the protection of martial as judge-advocate, at Lime- martial law; without which wita rick), and the oath of the United nesses would not give their evis Irishmen, when he was interrupted dence, nor juries do their duty, by

since they were sure to be mura The earl of Caernarvon, who de- dered or driven from their coun sired, that if it was thought right to try. Conciliatory means had been read a part of Mr. Ormsby's evi- recommended instead of acts of this dence, the whole of it might be read. kind; hut the oath proved, that the

The secretary of state declined Irish were solemnly bound to drive the noble lord's request, not choos- every protestant from the country, ing to fatigue the house.

and support the French invaders, The earl of Caernarvon said he What measures would satisfy such had no fear that the house would men? As to the exercise of this be fatigued with hearing what was power in Ireland, it would appear necessary on so important a sube that the prisoners tried by courtsject; and therefore willingly un- martial had all advantages; copies dertook the task of reading the of the charge, and from one to passage prudently omitted by the three counse noble secretary:. but which was The earl of Carlisle rose to exdue to Mr. Ormsby's veracity, to plain, saying, that by a substitute adó show that he concealed nothing ministration he meant no ill-nas from the management of courts tured personality. He however martial. He had said, " That lamented when, in critical times, those who he thought must have he saw a new administration suba been acquilted for defciency of erie stituting weakness for strength. dence, he took on himself the merit He allowed the noble secretary of adındtting to bail ; so that, there and his colleagues as much merit as being na acquittals, the court bc- they were entitled to; but their

predecessors

-46

predecessors should not be depre- At length the question, " that ciated to enhance the value of the the bill be read a second time,” present ministry. He would not was put, and the house divided iake credit for the plan and success Contents

33 of the Egyptian, or the wisdom of Proxies

13 the northern, expedition: the latter Non-contents

10 was projected and prepared before Proxies

3 13 he or the present chancellor of the exchequer came into office. He

Majority

33 apologised for having addressed the house a second time; but what The bill was then ordered to be the noble secretary had said de- commitied that day, and was aftermanded some observation.

wards passed.

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Motion for a Bill of Indemnity in Futour of the late Administration.-

Debates on that Subject in the llouse of Commons-ill the House of Lords.

ISTORIANS have generally which remains to us is to report

considered an act of indem- the proceedings upon this important nity as the severest censure upon measure. an administration. It is seldom On Friday, May 27th, in the that circumstances can arise, when house of commons, the attorneyeven a temporary violation of law general rose, according to a previ. is necessary; but when the error ous notice, in consequence, he said, extends to nearly the whole of an of the urgent recommendation of administration, the fault must be the committee of secresy, to move great indeed, and the abuses fre- leave for a bill to indemnify all perquent. We have seen acts of in- sons in securing, imprisoning, and demnity passed on particular occa- detaining individuals under the sua sions, as on the landing of the Hes- spension of the babeas-corpus act, sian troops during the American since the 1st of Februay 1793. war; but Mr. Pitt's we believe to He entered into a short explanabe the first in which an act of ob- tion of the justice and expediency livion for a period embracing nearly of the bill. When persons, in doten ycars was ever required. What ing a public duty, were so situated might be the compact made by the (in consequence of an act for geex-ministers on abandoning their neral tranquility and good order), offices we cannot presume to say; as either to be liable to punishment but we must add our wish that such or compelled to disclose what they a requisition had never been com- ought to conccal, it was but justice plied with, but that their conduct had to give them such protection as been left

open to the fair investiga- common forms of law colild not. tion of the incomparable jurispru- It was needless then to discuss the dence of their country. The late bill's principle at large, therefore parliament unfortunately was not he should only explain its designed of our opinion; and the only duty application. He intended it to be

1801.

ange

1

large and extensive, and its opera- were for screening their inferior tion to apply to all who were liable agents. to be inipleaded by executing the Mr. Tierney strongly objected to act, that they might then be able the mode of bringing in the bill, to stay proceeding, and if judg- saying that the committee had no ment were given against them they power to examine the subject of it. might apply to stay execution.- The papers referred to them reAtter some more observations, he garded the plans of the disaffected wished that the bill should be read here and in Ireland, and formed the a first time the next day, and, after only ground of their inquiry; but printing, a second time on Tues- they had taken up a subject quite day, and its principles and provi- distinct, and founded a measure on sions fully canvassed.

it wholly irrelative to the great obMr. Grey could not consent to ject of their inquiries. This proceedthe bill's introduction on the expla- ing was dishonourable to the house, nation then given. The honour- and only intended to screen the lato able and learned mover seemed to ministers by an ex post facto law. think it enough to say it was an act He allowed that indemnities might of immediate justice; but it might be necessary in some cases, but this be extremely oppressive to many was a very peculiar case. Ministers individuals. In former times, it had had formerly asserted their conduct been necessary to suspend the ha- to be legal in this matter; and when beas-corpus act; and those who ex- he and his friends wished to know ercised ihe powers then granted the extent of their responsibility, had as much responsibility and they had been told by lord Eldon,non claims to immediate justice as the raised to the highest legal honours, present ministers. But he did not that a bill of indemnity was unnerecollect tliet a legislative provision cessary. No dreadful consequences was hand in such a case; therefore to ministers for want of such a bill that should be shown to be neces- were then insinuated. But if they sary now which was not consider- had doubts for forming the present ed so formerly. He said that the bill, why were they not stated for principle of the bill was more liostile six years, but brought forward with to the constitution and the system a demand of general indemnity ? of English jurisprudence than any He asked the chancellor of the ex. other measure of the late admini chequer, Whether a bili so introstration. Therefore he could not duced deserved his support? IL consent even to its introduction. was reported that the change of

The attorney-general, in expla- administration was only a juggle : nation, referred the honourable gen- this he would not now discuss; but tleman to two precedents, in 1746 bad men might argue in support of and 1780, when such bills were this notion from the mode of the adopted.

bill's introduction, and say that the Mr. Archdall quoted lord So- late ministers had gone out to get a mers's authority, that such a bill committee for screening them from was not unconstitutional.

punishment. He ended by reconSir F. Burdett thought the bill mending the appointment of another quite of a piece with all the other committee, on whose report, it measures of the late ministers, who, needful, the bill might be grounded. conscious of their own criminality, Mr. Pitt said he would not detain

the

the house in this stage of the busi- from his public duty. He had often ness, but the bill ought to be rightly differed from those ministers, but understood. It was not to justify never in those measures which had certain individual measurer, but saved the country; and he would to protect persons froin punishment protect those who had protected it. for acts contormable to their public He now asked for others what perduty, whose legality they could not haps he might have to ask for himdetend without endangering the selt. But he supported the bill lives of others. The most impor- from no selfish emotion. Each who tant information had been derived did his duty claimed protection ; from sources which could not be and, whilst he performed his own, disclosed but with danger to their he hoped to experience the same. lives who gave it. To prevent this Mr. Tierney explained, professthe measure was designed ;--that ing, that though he suspected a evidence should not come before connexion between the late and the house, that the safety of dis- present ministers, he would not closing might be judged of. He hazard an opinion till he had better owned his responsibility deeply materials for judging. implicated, and trusted that when Sir R. Buxton defended the late the independence of the committee ministers. was considered, their impartiality Mr. Jones never spoke of the would not be disputed.

change of administration as a jugMr. Bragge spoke to order, and gle, differing herein from his best said, that though select committees friends: but were he asked on his had no power to form resolutions, honour whom he thought first mithey might suggest what might arise nister, he could not tell. from the subject of papers before Leave was then granted to bring thein.

in the bill. Dr. Laurence would accede to a On Friday, June 5th, the order bill of indemnity under proper ino- of the day being read, sir Francis difications, but resolved to watch Burdett presented a petition from over the bill with constitutional Jasper Moore against the bill, statjealousy.

ing, that he had been confined three The chancellor of the exchequer years under the suspension of the hoped what had been stated by his habeas-corpus, when he had had the honourable friend would remove severest treatment, chiefly from the doubts as to the committee's power. jailor of Cold-Bath-Fields' prison : They might advise what measures he was arrested in April 1799, and seemed expedient. Mr. Tierney sent to a damp stone cell, where he had said the bill now proposed did remained twenty-three hours withnot fairly arise from the papers.-- out any food, or even water. He It was impossible that persons wish- was examined on the 5th day being for indemnity could be defend- fore the privy council, answered ed without sacrificing public and every question, and prayed an imprivate duty, and therefore the bill medíate trial, which was refused, was necessary. As to what Mr. and he locked up in Newgate in a Tierney had said of a juggle be- 'stone cell, where he was suffered tween his majesty's ministers, it to walk out only a few hours in the was unworthy of him. No such day; but Mr. Kirby's treatment expression should ever deter him was humane, contrary to that of

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