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".crime and misdemeanor, highly derogatory to the honour of the .“ House, and contrary to the faith of Parliament."
The motion was put and carried without a division.
Mr. Fox then, after a short preface, moved, “ That it is the opi166 nion of the Committee, that there should be laid before them an .“6 account of all sums of money expended for the use of the public “ service, between the 19th of December, 1783, and the 12th of
January, 1784, specifying each sum, and for what expended.”
Mr. Fox said, the reason for making such a motion might appear rather extraordinary, but as extraordinary measures had been taken by the present Ministry to come into power, it required extraordinary motions to prevent them doing mischief now they were in power.
Mr. Pitt said a few words on the subject, but as the prior motion had been carried, he could not lee, he said, any particular harm that could accrue from the present one passing also.
The motion was then put and agreed to.
Mr. Fox then informed the Committee he had another motion to make, which was,
“ That the Mutiny Bill be read a second time on the 23d of February 1784."
The reason, he said, for putting it off to such a period, was to give Ministers time to consider of it ; and, at the same time, to allow a sufficient space to pass it in before the 25th of March, at which time it would be wanted.
Mr. Pitt said, he could see no end it could answer to tie down the Mutiny Bill to be read on a specific day, for the Mutiny Bill not being in the House, answered every end he should imagine that the Hon. Gentleman wished. After a short conversation, the motion was put and carried.
The Earl of Surrey then rose, and stated to the House, that the situation of our affairs, both at home and abroad, were such as required men of abilities and integrity to fill high offices of state, and at the same time they should be such persons as poffeffed the confidence of that House and the public, he should therefore move,
“ That it is the opinion of the Committee, that in the present “ fituation of his Majesty's dominions, it is highly necessary that such
administration thould be formed, as possessed both the confidence 66 of that House and the public.”
Sir Peter Burrell, in a short but elegant speech, seconded the motion.
Mr. Pitt said a few words, and was answered by Mr. Erskine; after which the motion was put and carried.
The Earl of Surrey then stated to the House, that from what had happened in the other House of Parliament, and what had been urged by an honourable General that day, of a Lord of the Bedchamber endeavouring to bias his vote, made it necessary for him to move,
“ That it is the opinion of the Committee, that the late changes were preceded by extraordinary rumours, dangerous to the Constitution, inasmuch as the sacred name of Majesty had been unconstitutionally used for the purpose of affecting the deliberations of Par
liament, and the appointments that followed were accompanied " by circumstances new and extraordinary, and such as were evi
dently calculated not to conciliate the affections of that House.” Sir P. Burrell feconded the motion.
Mr. Dundas opposed the motion; insisted upon it that it was by no means the fact, and that he would take the sense of the Committee upon it ; for which purpose he moved, that the Chairman do leave the Chair, report a progress, and alk leave to fit again.
A smart debate then ensued, in which Mr Pitt, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Dundas opposed the original motion ; and Lord Surrey, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Sheridan as warmly supported it.
At Seven o'Clock in the morning the question was loudly called for, and the Committee divided on the motion that the Chairman do leave the Chair. Noes
Majority against the Ministry
54 January 15.] On this day Mr. Pitt proposed his new India Bill, when leave was given to bring in the same.
January 16.] Mr. Pitt prelented his Bill, and the heads of it were read. He then moved, it should be read a second time on the Wednesday following, which was negatived without a division; it was then ordered for Friday the 23d. The House having formed itself into a Committee on the state of the nation, the following motion was made by Lord C. Spencer, and seconded by Mr. Baker :
Resolved, “ That it is the opinion of this Committee, it having been declared by this House, that in the present situation of his Majesty’s dominions, an Administration should be formed, which
poffefled the confidence of this House, and the public ; and the “ present Administration being formed under circumstances new and “ extraordinary, such as were not calculated to conciliate the affec“ tions, or engage the confidence of this House; and his Majesty's " present Ministers still holding high and responsible offices, after “ Tuch a declaration, is contrary to true constitutional principles, and “ injurious to his Majesty and his people."
After a very warm debate, the question was put, and the Committee divided.
For the motion
205 Against it Majority against the Minister January 23.) Mr. Pitt moved “ that the India bill be read a second « time," and it was agreed to. On the question being put, that the bill be committed, the House divided as follows :
Majority for throwing out the Minister's bill
The following is a copy of Mr. Pitt's India Reform Bill. Å BILL for the better Government and Management of the Affairs of the EAST INDIA
COMPANY. For the better government and security of the Territorial Poffeffions of this kingdom in the East Indies, be it enacted by the King's Moft Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this prefent Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the fame, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the King's Majesty, his heirs, and fuccessors, by any coinmission to be issued under the Great Seal of Great Britain, to nominate and appoint such persons as his Majesty shall think fit, being of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, of whom the Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department for the time being, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being, shall be two, to be, and who Thall accordingly be, Commiffioners for the affairs of India. And be it. enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any number, not less than
of the said Commissioners, shall form a Board for executing the several powers which, this or any other act, fhall be vested in the Commissioners aforesaid. And be it further enacted, That the faid Secretary of State, and, in bis absence, the
fuid Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in the absence of both of them, the senior of the faid
other Commissioners, according to his rank in seniority of appointment, as one of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, fall preside at and be Prefident of the said Board; and that the said Commissioners, or any of them, shall have, and they are hereby invested with, the superintendance and controul over all the British territorial poffeffions in the East Indies, and over the affairs of the United Company of Merchants trading thereto, in manner herein after directed.
And be it further enacted, That in cafe the members present at the said Board shall at any time be equally divided in opinion, in respect to any matter depending before them, then, and in every such case, the then President of the said Board shall have two voices, or the casting vote.
And be it further enacted, That it tall and may be lawful for the King's Majesty, his heirs and succeffors, from time to time, at his and their will and pleasure, to revoke and determine the commission aforesaid, and from time to time to cause any new commission or commissions to be fealed as aforesaid, for appointing any other person or perfons, being of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, of whom the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being, shall always be two, to be Commissioners and Members of the said Board, when and lo often as his Majesty, his heirs or fucceffors, shall think fit, so that the number of Commissioners therein to be named shall in no wise exceed the aforesaid number of
Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the office or place of a Commissioner or Member of the said Board, hereby erected, shall not be deemed or taken to be a new office or place, within the intent and purview of an act of the fixth year of the reign of Queen Anne, intituled, “ An act for the security of her Majesty's person and
government, and of the succession of the crown of Great Britain in the Protestant 66 line.".
And be it further enacted, That the said Board shall be fully authorized and impows ered, from time to time, to check, superintend, and controul, all acts, operations, and concerns, which in any wise rela-e to the civil or military government or revenues of the territories and poffeffions of the said United Company in the East Indies.
And be it further enacted, That the said Secretary of State for the time being, shall nominate and appoint a Secretary to attend upon the said Board, who shall be subject to dismission, at the pleasure of the said Board; and that the said Secretary shall enter, or cause to be entered, in books, all proceedings whatsoever to be had by or before the said Board; and thall be paid such falary as his Majesty shall, by warrant under his sign manual, direct.
Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the members of the said Board, before they shall proceed to act in the execution of any of the powers or authorities to them given by this act (fave only the power of administering the oath after mentioned) shall leverally take and subscribe the following oath : (that is to say)
« 1. A. B. do faithfully promise and swear, that as a Commissioner or Member “ of the Board for the Affairs of India, I will give my best advice and affist
ance for the good government of the British possessions in the East-Indies; « and will execute the several powers and trusts reposed in me, according to “ the best of my skill and judgment, without favour or affection, prejudice or “ malice, to any person whatsoever."
Which said oath any
of the Members of the said Board shall and are hereby impowered to administer; and the laid oath fhall be entered by the said Secretary amongst the accounts of the said Board, and be duly subscribed and attested by the Members D 2
thereof, at the time of their taking and administering the same to each other reprectively.
And, to the intent that the said Board may be duly informed of all transactions of the said Company, in respect to the management of their concerns in the East-Indies, be it further enacted, That all the Members of the said Board fhall, at all convenient and reasonable times, have access to all papers and muniments of the said United Company, and shall be furnished with such extracts or copies thereof as they shall from time to time require; and that the Court of Directors of the faid United Company thall, and they are hereby required and directed, to deliver to the faid Board copies of all minutes, orders, refolutions, and other proceedings, of all general and special Courts of Proprietors of the said Company, and of the said Court of Directors, within days after the holding of such respective Courts; and also copies of all dispatches which the fairi Directors shall receive from any of their servants in the East Indies, immediately: after the arrival thereof; and also copies of all letters, orders, and instructions whatfoever, relating to the civil or military government or revenues of the British territorial poffeffions in the East-Indies, proposed to be sent or dispatched, by the said Court of Directors, to any of the servants of the faid Company in the East-Indies, days at the least before the time propofed for sending or dispatching the same respectively; and that the said Court of Directors of the said United Company fhall, and they are hereby required to pay due obedience to, and shall be governed and bound by, such orders and directions as they shall from time to time receive from the said Board, touching the civil or military government and revenues of the territories and poffeffions of the said United Company in the Eaft-Indies.
And be it further enacted, That, within days after the receipt of such copies last mentioned, the faid Board fhall return the fame to the faid Court of Directors, with their approbation thereof, fubscribed by of the Members of the said Board, or their reasons at large for disapproving the same; together with instructions from the faid Board to the faid Court of Directors in respect thereto; and that the faid Court of Directors shall thereupon dispatch and send the letters, orders, and instructions, lo approved or amended, to their servants in India, without further delay; and no letters, orders, or instructions, until after such previous communication thereof to the faid Board, shall at any time be sent or dispatched by the faid Court of Directors, to the East Indies, on any account or pretence whatever.
And be it further enacted, 'That in case the said Board shall send any orders or instructions, which, in the opinion of the said Court of Directors, shall relate to points not connected with the civil or military government and revenues of the said territories and possessions in India, then, and in any such case, it Thall be lawful for the said Court of Directors to apply, by petition, to his Majesty in Council, touching such orders and instructions; and his Majesty in Council fhall decide whether the faine be, or be not, connected with the civil or military government and revenues of the faid territories and poffeffions in India; which decision shall be final and conclufive.
And be it further enacted, That as soon as the office of any one of the Counsellors of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal shall become vacant, by death, by removal, or refignation, the vacancy so happening fhall not be supplied by the said Court of Directors, but the said Supreme Government shall from thenceforward consist of a Governor-General and Supreme Counsellors only; and that the Commander in Chief of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal for the time being, shall have voice and precedence in Council next after the said Governor-General, any thing in any former act of Parliament contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
And be it further enacted, That the government of the several Presidencies and settlements of Fort St. George and Bombay, thall, after the commencement of this act,