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156 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL Club, &c. April to them we ought to leave the de- who favour the motion are never put termination ; therefore I hope this to prove an abuse: It has always been affair will be entirely dropt, and the deemed fufficient for them to shew, question put upon the clause now that the power is liable to be abused, before us, which, I think, has no- in order to induce the house to abolish thing to do with this affair ; for

that power, or to put it upon some whether the power which the colo. A such new establishment as may prenel has over the staff officers of his

vent, as much as pomble, its being any regiment, was made a good or a bad Jonger liable to be abused. For this use of upon any particular occasion, reason I do not think the complaint is not surely to determine ou: judg- now before us of any very great ima ment as to the continuance or abo.

portance to the principal question lition of that power, but whether under consideration ; but at the same it is a power that is necessary even B time I must declare against the prinin time of peace for preserving dif- ciple laid down, that this house is cipline in our army, and rendering never to take notice of the comit useful in time of war.

plaints made by the army, or by any If for these purposes, Sir, the con. man, or any sort of men, in the tinuance of this power be thought army. I hope both the officers and necessary, I am sure, we have no foldiers of the army are all subjects occasion to frighten ourselves with Cof Great-Britain ; and it is our duty the influence that staff officers may to take notice of every complaint have in elections ; for unless it be made to us by any British subject, in Westminster, I hardly believe unless upon the face of it, it appears there is any place in the kingdom to be frivolous or unjuft. Nay farwhere a staff officer has a vote for ther, as we are the great inqueft of members of parliament ; and in the nation, it is our duty to inquire Westminster, where there are foD diligently if any of the subjects of many thousand electors, surely the Great Britain be exposed to, or lavotes of three or four score serjeants bouring under any, and what oppres. can never be of any great weight in fions, and to take the most effec. either scale. To this I must add, tual method for procuring them re. Sir, that as a colonel's life as well as lief. character very often in time of war This, I say, Sir, is our duty, and depends upon the behaviour of his E I wish we would attend to this part tegiment, I believe, every colonel of our duty more frequently than we will chuse to have a regiment of do, especially with regard to that brave and well disciplined soldiers, part of the British subjects who serve tather than a regiment of voters at in our armies either by sea or land ; any election.

for they are by the nature of the

service more exposed to oppression, The lajt Speech I fall give you in F than any other part of his majesty's

this Dibate, was that made by subjects, and it is likewise much M. Ogulnius, the Purport of wbicb more dangerous for them to comwas as follows, viz.

plain. I am far from apprehending, Mr. Prefident,

Sir, that our giving ear to com

plaints, or inquiring into oppresŞIR,

sions, will ever bring parliaments inta BELIEVE every gentleman G contempt or detestation with any knows, that when a motion is

part of the people ; but if we enmade for repealing any law, or for tirely neglect this part of our duty, abolishing any power that has been

parliaments may become contempestablished by law or custom, those tible, and, on account of the taxes GO-104

they

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1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 159
they impose, detestable, to much the jured by his colonel, he may have
greatest part of the people both in interest enough to obtain such an
and out of the army. As it is not a order ; but how shall a poor soldier
very long time since we had a stand. obtain it, when he has been injured
ing army, there cannot be many ex- by his colonel ? A regimental court-
amples of complaints being brought martial he cannot trust to for relief,
by officers or soldiers before par. A even fuppofing that the colonel should
liament; but in K. William's time, order one at his request ; and a ge-
when standing armies were first kept neral court-martial he cannot ob-
up by authority of parliament, cain, because it is so difficult for him
there were several inquiries and com- to get access, either to the crown, or
plaints, and not only' soldiers but the commander in chief ; but to a'
cven recruits were examined at the member of this house he may get
bar of this house in relation to the be. B access : By means of that member
haviour of the officers towards them. he may get justice done him by par-
Even but very lately, as every gen- liament ; and now and then an in-
tleman must remember, there was Itance of this kind would attach all
a committee appointed by this house the soldiers to the parliament, and
to inquire into several things relating would be a continual check upon
to the army, and tho' the power of those officers that are apt to oppress
that committee was, by the order, C and tyrannize over the soldiers, that
very much confined, yet their in- have the misfortune to be under
quiry produced a very good effect, their command ; for tho' I have the
and gained the applause of every pleasure to think, that there are few
man in the army. Suppose we mould such officers in our army, there muk
now and then reject a frivolous, or always be some, and nothing can be
punish an unjust complaint, can we a more effectual check upon their
imagine that this would bring upon D conduct, than the parliament's giv-
parliament the detestation of the ing ear to every soldier's complaint,
soldiers ? No, Sir, a common rol- that appears to be just and well
dier has common understanding as founded.
well as other men ; and every one That this would be of any preju-
of them not concerned in the com- dice to the discipline of our army,
plaint, would judge impartially and there is not, Sir, the least ground to
approve what the parliament had E apprehend ; Can oppression and ty-
done. Nothing can bring us into ranny be necessary for preserving
contempt but our refusing to hear a discipline and subordination in an ar
just complaint when properly brought my? Shall such a doctrine ever be
before us, or our neglecting to give adopted by a British house of com-
redress to the party injured, when the mons ? On the contrary, do not wc-
facts have been fully proved ; and know, that discipline, subordination,
in particular, we ought to be atten. F and what is of ftill more consequence,
tive to the complaints of the com- the courage of the soldiers, are pre-
mon soldiers, because it is very dif- served by juft and gentle usage ?
ficult for them to obtain redress And this I take to be the chief rea..
by any other method.

fon, why the common soldiers of the Let us consider, Sir, that a board British army face danger with more of general officers, or a general intrepidity, and with more alacrity, court-martial, must be appointed by G than the common soldiers of any na. an order from the crown, or the tion under the sun. Do not, there. commander in chief, when there is fore, let us encourage brutal officers, one appointed by the crown: When if any such there are, or should ever a commiffioned officer has been in. be in our army, to use the soldiers

ill,

PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. April ill, by laying it down as a maxim, London against ftockjobbing; and that the parliament must never in- every one knows what opposition he termeddle in any disputes or diffe- met with within doors, what re. rences, that happen in our army. proaches without, before he could

To refute this doctrine, Sir, which get that bill passed into a law. It is I thought of such dangerous conse- true, Sir, we have, thro' complaiquence, was the only end of my A fance, or for satisfying a filly popustanding up, and therefore I shall lar clamour, given our consent to not take up your time with giving several such bills ; but I hope we you my opinion upon any of the ftall at last put an end to this comother points now under our conside.. plaisance ; for I do not think there ration, but conclude with observing was ever a more ridiculous bill sent in general, that I shall always be up to us, than the bill now under jealous of a power, the exercise B consideration. whereof is trusted to the absolute There is no man, Sir, that more and arbitrary will of a single man; heartily wishes the improvement of nor do I think, that any such power the British fishery than I do : There can ever be necessary in time of is no man more sensible of the benepeace ; for tho’ in time of war such

fits that might accrue to this nation a power muft often be granted, yet by extending our fisheries, especially even then it ought to be as little C that of white herrings, upon the made use of as posible,

coasts of our own island, and there

is no man more forry than I am, The next Debate I shall give you, is that proper expedients have not been

one we had in our Club upon the found, for turning to the best adfamous Bill paffed last Sefion, in.

vantage, the spirit that at present titled, An Act for the Encourage prevails among the people for the ment of the British White Her- D improvement, or rather, I should say, ring Fishery ; which Debate was the introduction of that fithery. I epened by C. Claudius Nero, who, am from information, as well as ftuupon that Occafion, spoke in Sub- dy, fully apprised of the riches that fance thus :

might accrue to this nation from a Mr. President,

due improvement of that fishery, of

the numbers of poor people that SIR,

E might thereby be usefully employed, T is very furprising, that of all and above all, of the vast addition

the bills fent up to us of late that might thereby be made to the years from the other house for a. number of our seamen, which is the mending the law, improving trade, natural strength and the true glory of or removing any grievance publickly this kingdom ; therefore, I cannot complained of, most of them were but desire above all things to see this such as were apparently ineffectual F trade put upon a proper foundation ; for the end proposed, or such as and for this very reason I must be tended to introduce a greater griev. against the bill now under consideance than that they intended to re- ration ; because, from such regulamove. Such were their bills against tions, I am sure, we can meet with the ase of fpirituous liquors, their no success, and a failure in the atbills against vagabonds, and many tempt will throw such a damp upon others I could mention. In short, G the present laudable spirit, that it I can think but of one bill that has will not for many years be poslible to fully answered what was expected revive it. from it, which was that brought in Did we ever hear, did we ever by a worthy magiftrate of the city of read of a company, that carried on

E- of W- -a.

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1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 159 a trade with any success, unless it trade, or lay it open to our own was to a place where none could people, and this put an end to the trade but themselves? Do not we trade of the company ; for their know, that in order to enable a present circumstances fhew, that they company with a joint stock to carry have never since carried on the trade on any trade, they must not only

with any advantage. have an exclusive privilege with re- A Our East-India company owed its gard to their own countrymen, but establishment to the same causes, it must be to fuch a place, or a trade and will, at last, I fear, Sir, have of such a nature, that they cannot the same fate with our African com. poffibly be rivalled by any foreigners? pany; for its trade will be at an end Is not the bill we but the other day as foon as it begins to be rivalled by agreed to, for extending and im. the private traders of other nations ; proving the trade to Africa, a me. B but thank God! our neighbours have lancholy proof of this truth? No all hitherto carried on that trade by trade had ever stronger arguments companies as we do. And as to the in favour of a company with a joint Soath-Sea company, they have neftock, than that trade had at the be. ver so much as once endeavoured to ginning : It was to be carried on

establish a trade in that which is proupon a savage coaft, where it was perly called the South-Sea ; and imposible to trade with any security C now, I believe, will never more for your merchants and factors, with. have any trade in any sea whatever. out having forts for their protection But left it should be objected, that against the natives. The friendship these were all exclufive companies, of the natives was to be purchased I shall make some observations upon by prefents to their little princes, our Turkey company. This comand yet that friendship, after you had pany was from the beginning depurchased it, could not for a day be D figned to be a free and open comdepended on, unless you had a fort pany : That is to say, every man for a fecurity against their perfidy. was to have leave to trade to Turkey, Such a trade, therefore, could not who could make himself free of the be opened without a much greater company by the payment of a small expence than the profits of the trade

fum, I think 5l. But the company could answer in a great number of were enabled to make by.laws, and years ; consequently, this expence E every man free of the company was must be defrayed by the publick, or to be subject to these by-laws. What a company with a joint stock and was the consequence? Some cunning exclusive privilege must be erected. fellows among the directors conAs the government had not at that trived a by-law, by which they extime millions yearly at its disposal, cluded every man from the Turkey as it has had since, it could not spare trade but themselves and their the expence, and therefore it was F friends * By this means they inabsolutely neceffary, for the opening grossed the trade to themselves, and of that trade, to erect a company lold all English goods in Turkey at with a joint stock and exclusive pri- such a high price, that the French vilege. Whilst that company was were enabled to rival us, and at last unrivalled, or but very little ri- run away with the greatest part of valled by foreigners, they carried on the trade. the trade with advantage ; but as

G

In this country, Sir, we should soon as they came to be rivalled by be more cautious of erecting trading the private traders of other nations, companies, than in cougtries where We saw that we muft either lose the their government is arbitrary. Mer.

chants, * See a debate on ebe Turkey trade, London Magazine for 1745, P. 521, 530.

160 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. April
chants, in all countries, are but too panies. In the infancy of both these
generally selfish and cunning : They trades, the undertakers made vast
will endeavour to inrich themselves profits in both countries ; but the
often by such methods as tend to the application of those profits was very
ruin of their country; and by erect- different: The directors of the Dutch
ing them into companies you furnifh East-India company applied a great
them with the means of exercising A share of those profits in planting co-
their talents in this way. When lonies and ingrosing the spice islands;
such attempts are made in arbitrary by which they have secured a lasting
countries, the ministers may easily revenue to their successors, and ex-
and speedily put a stop to it, and tensive dominions to their country:
punih severely the authors, in an Whereas the directors of our Ealt-
arbitrary, short, and summary way ; India and African companies applied
but here you must proceed according B their whole profits yearly towards in-
to the forms of law; and it is so creasing their dividends, in order to
easy to evade any law that can be raise the price of their stock, by
made for preventing such practices, which indeed they inriched them-
that it is impossible to convict them, selves and the then proprietors, but
especially as they are to be tried by they procured no lolid lafting ad-
lawyers, who seldom, I believe, un- vantage to their successors, nor any
derstand any thing of trade. We useful dominion to their country ;
had a strong instance of this in the and the late fate of Madrass is a
Turkey company I have mentioned; melancholy proof, how precarious
for tho' che affair was about four or their little possessions are in that part
five years ago brought before parlia of the world.
ment, and tho' the pernicious con- These things I thought necessary
sequences of the by.law they had to premise, Sir, concerning the con-
made, were set in the clearest light, D duct and fate of trading companies

yet not only the authors of it escaped in this country, in order to Thew,
without punishment, but the by- that we should never erect any such
law itself was left in its full force ; without an absolute neceflity ; but
whereas had our government been 'what is the necessity of erecting the
arbitrary, and our ministers careful company now under considerati-
of their duty, the by-law would on? For carrying on the filhery we
have been by the supreme authority E have no occasion for erecting any
abolished as soon as made, and the forts, or for purchasing the friend-
chief promoter of it hanged, for at fhip of any foreign princes : We
tempting such an injury to the trade

have no occasion for being at any of his country.

expence, but what with frugal ma. We may from hence see the rea

nagement may be reimbursed by two fon, Sir, why trading companies or three successful voyages ; and the proíper much better, and are of F fitting out a herring buls is so small more advantage to their country, in an expence, that any common merFrance than in England. Even in chant may by himself alone underHolland they have generally been take it. When I talk of frugal maconducted with much more publick nagement, I must observe, that it is spirit, and a greater regard to the by this alone, and by selling at a good of the commonwealth in gene- small profit, that the Dutch have ral, than ever they were in England. G hitherto prevented our interfering We may be convinced of this, by with them in the trade, and now we comparing the conduct of the Eart

are going to grasp at a share of the India company ind lolland, with that

trade, by carrying it on in the most of our East India and African com- expensive way that can be thought

2

of.

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