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S UR R E 11.6
249 JOURNAL of the Proceedings and DEBATES in the POLITICAL CLUB, continued from p.211.
ledge I have of the justice, wisdom, As the Regency Bill, now passed into a and discretion of her royal highness,
Law, was a Bill of so much Con- but for many other reasons, which Sequence, and of a Nature so new, I shall now beg leave to explain. we resolved to take the first Oppor. I hope it will be allowed, Sir, tunity to consider it in our Club; that by our constitution the whole therefore we procured a Copy of it A executive power of the government as soon as the Blanks were filled is lodged in one single person under up, and resolved at our next Miet- certain limitations, which are now ing to take it into Consideration; perfectly known, and by which the when, upon reading the first material liberties and privileges of the people Clause, Proculus Virginius food up
are secured. *This is our true conand spoke in Substance thus : fticution : This is what we never did
B depart from without involving our. Mr. Chairman,
selves into difficulties and misforSIR,
tunes ; and this is what we never S there are some words at
ought to depart from without an the end of this clause, evident necessity. How can this ne.
which relate to some fol- cessity arise, Sir ? Not from any lowing regulations in the bill, and as danger the people may be exposed I fall be for having all those regu- C to from a sole regent ; for they are lations left out, I believe it will now fufficiently guarded by the limitations, be proper, and indeed necessary for which the sovereign himself is subme, to declare my sentiments upon jected to. It can therefore arise this affair in general, and to give my from nothing but the nature of our reasons for being against chole regu- monarchy, which our ancestors wiselations ; becasue, if the majority of ly made hereditary, to avoid those this house should concur with me in D misfortunes which elective monaropinion, a piece of good fortune I chies are always exposed to. By very feldom meet with, when I hap- this wise institution, as no human pen to differ from the Hon. gentle institution can be without some inman in the chair, these words mult conveniences, we are exposed to the be left out, or the clause must be danger of having sometimes an inpoftponed. When I say this, I be- tant king; and when this misfortune lieve, every gentleman will suppose E happens to us, we must necessarily I mean the words restraints, limita- lodge the executive power of our tions, and regulations following ; for government in the hands of one fin. if it should be thought right to put gle person with sovereign power, or the royal person, 10 wisely and so we must circumscribe his power, by graciously recommended to us by his faddling him with a council of remajelty for regent in case of his gency. The latter, whenever it is death, under no restraints, limita. F done, is always an incroachment tions, or regulations, but such as the upon, or rather a total alteration of sovereign power itielf is now by our our conflitution, and experience has constitusion subjected to, thote words thewn, that it can hardly ever fail muft certainly be left out of this of producing factious disputes and clause; and this I must declare to be violent animosities in the nation ; my opinion, not only from the know- for thro' our whole history we canT Pro,
not produce one instance where is Jane, 1751.
part with it.
250 'PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL Club, &c. June did not do so ; therefore we never I know it will be said, Sir, that ought to have recourse to it, except by the bill now before us, the regent when it becomes necessary for avoid- may act in many cases without the ing a greater danger, which is that advice or consent of the council of to which an infant king, and his he- regency, and that she may dispose of reditary right to the crown, may be all poits and preferments, except a exposed, by appointing a sole regent A few named in the bill, by her own or protector with sovereign power ; fole authority; and particularly, that for the nature of man is such, that it The has the sole disposal of all comrarely happens, that one who has missions in the army, and the sale once got possession of sovereign pow- power of issuing all orders and iner, can willingly or freely consent to structions to the troops ; but if we
closely attend to this, we shall find From the nature of our constituti. B that her power, even in these reon therefore, Sir, it is extremely spects, is altogether elusory ; for in easy to determine what we ought to the present state of things, when all do upon the present occasion. What principle seems to be out of the quesnecellity, what inducement can we tion, when immediate felf-interest have now to expose the nation 10 seems to be the only motive for acti. those factions and animosities that al- on, they that have the power of the ways have arilen, and always must C purse mult of course have all other arise from our altering our conftitu. power, and the publick purse the retion, by dividing the executive pow- gent is to have no power of, because er of our government, and lodging the cannot remove, no not so much as it in several hands? Can we appre
an inferior commissioner of the treahend any danger to the person of fury, without the consent of a majothe infant king from his mother ? rity of the council of regency. Then, Can we suppose that she will ever D Sir, with respect to the army, the Have a thought of usurping the regent, by the rules of our constitucrown, or of keeping poffeflion of tion, can grant no commillion to any the sovereign power for any longer officer, nor iflue orders to any troops, time than by this law we are to pre- but what must be countersigned by fcribe? No man, therefore, can now the secretary at war; and can we have any inducement for exposing suppose, that the regent can find any the nation to factions and animositi- E secretary at war, that will act in dies, and rendering her government rect opposition to him who has the uneaiy to her, by cramping it with
direction of the council of regency, a council of regency, unless it be and of the treasury that is to pay chole who have now by favour the him his salary? As to the navy, we difpenting of the sovereign power, may easily fee, that the regent can and who desire to have that establish. have no power over it ; because all ed by law which they now hold only F commissions, and all orders and in'by favour. If there be now such a structions must be counterfigned by man, or such a set of men in the the lord high admiral, or a majority nation, I am sure, it is a strong ar- of the commisioners of admiralty, gument against our saddling the re- over whom the resent is to have nei. gent with any council of regency : ther pouver nor influence ; and as to it will be the height of madness' to all ccciefiaftical and civil employchufe chose very men for the council G ments, we know that the grant of of regency, because it is plain thy meit of them, indeed I may say of design, that the regent Mall be 10- all that are to be granted by the thing but a name, that the hall be
crown, must have the concurrence of governed by them, or not be able to The great leal, the privy seal, the fe
govern at all.
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 25€ Cretaries of state, or the commillio. any eastern monarch : Opus effe non ners of the treasury; and none of forti folum viro, fed etiam libero, exthefe the regent is to have any power folutoque begum vinculis, was a saying over. Nay, in my opinion, the can of one of their wiselt and most exhave no power over even her own perienced magistrates, in a time of privy council ; because the president imminent danger ; and in this counof it she can neither remove nor ap- A try I am sometimes apt to with, that point, bue by the advice of her coun- our king had in time of war a more cil of regency:
than he has by our Thus, I think, it is plain, Sir, constitution ; for men without inerit that the regent must allow herself to are often preferred to commands, be governed by him, who happens to both in our army and navy, by the get the ascendancy in this council of interest they or their friends have in regency; for if the does not, confu. B parliament, and sometimes men who fion must be the consequence ; and for their misconduct have deserved how dangerous this may be to her. to be hanged, are effectually sereened felf, to her children, and to the nati- by the same sort of interest. When on, I need not defire gentlemen to we consider this, we need not be reflect. Niy, let her manage what- surprised at the court of Russia's inever way she will, the consequence fisting so ftrenuously upon the premay be fatal ; for if the allows her. C servation of the present constitution felf to be governed by the person in Sweden ; and if we were in this who gets the ascendancy in the coun- respect going to make any alteration cil of regency, it will be the same
in our conftitution, we might, peras if that perion had been appointed haps, have the fame sort of meflage fole protector with sovereign power, from France, which the court of which may be as fatal to her and her Sweden had lately from Ruslia. children, as the sole protectorship of D Shall we then divide, and thereby the duke of Gloucester was to the weaken, without any neceility, the widow and children of Edward IV. executive power of our government, and if the contends with that person at a time when it is possible, if not in any measures of government, it probable, that in case of the misforwill introduce confusion, which may tune of his majesty's death before be as fatal to her family, as the con. his successor comes of age, which fusion introduced by the usurpation E heaven avert, we may be involved of Richard III. was to the family of in a war, during the minority of our York.
sovereign These, Sir, are the internal dan- I say, Sir, without any necessity ; gers we have juftly to apprehend for I have already shewn, that no from our incumbering the govern- such necessity can ever arise, except ment of the regent with a council of from the danger to which the infant regency; but as to the external F king may be exposed by the ambi. dangers they are still more confide- tion of a sole regent invested with rable, because more national. It is all the power of a sovereign ; and very certain, Sir, that a fole and ab. without regard to the many known solute government is, in time of war and excellent qualities of the prinor great danger, the most capable of cess now to be appointed, I think exerting its natural strength, if di- this is a danger that can never be rected by wile counsels : The Ro-G juftly apprehended from a mother, man commonwealth would often have especially one who in her own right been ruined, if they had not had can pretend no title to the crown. recourse to a dictator, who, during But fupposing, that some fuch danger bis dictatorship, was as ablolate as might formerly have been appre