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56 fidence and support of every true friend of his country, make it “ necessary for me to trouble you with a repetition of the reasons " which I afligned to you and other gentlemen, who delivered me the
representation and requisition of your meeting of the 26th of Ja
nuary, for declining an immediate interview with Mr. Pitt, on the os "s prefent arduous situation of public affairs.
so I had the honour of stating to you, I did not think it poflible " that such a meeting would tend to forward the desirable end we all • " with, as long as M. Pitt remained in his ministerial capacity, not
withstanding the Resolution of the House of Commons of the 66 16th instant. Under these circumstances the embarrassment seems " mutual and difficult to be got over, but if any expedient can be “ devised for removing it, I thall be extremely ready to confer with " Mr. Pitt, and to contribute every faculty in my power to promote 65 the object of our joint wishes.
« I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient humble servant,
" PORTLAND." Thomas Grosvenor, Esq. Chairman.
Thursday the 29th. The gentlemen met, and there being above eighty Members present, they came to the following resolution :
Resolved, " That the Chairman be requested to return our thanks to the · Duke of Portland and Mr. Pitt, for the additional favour they have
now given of their attention to our wishes.
“ To express our cordial satisfaction to find they agree in opinion “ with this meeting, that an union is of the highest importance, “ and is the object of their joint wishes.
• To insinuate to them, that after these declarations, we are the
more strongly confirmed in our hope and expectation, that by the “ intervention of mutual friends, iome expedient may be advised, “ which may tend to remove the difficulty, which is stated to be the • most material obstacle to a communication between them, on the subject of a cordial and permanent union.
(Signed) T. GROSVENOR, Chairman.”.
St. Alban's Tavern, Saturday, January 31, 1784. At a mecting held by the gentlemen (Members of the House of Commons) who assembled from time to time, with a view to conciliate differences, and to forward an union of the contending parties, in Parliament, the following letters to the Chairman of the meeting were received and read.
“ Mr. PITT has already had the honour of stating to Mr. Grofvenor, that there are no difficulties on his part in the way of an im
mediate intercourse for the purpose of effecting an union consistent 5. with honour and principle. With regard to the embarrassinent “ stated by the Duke of Portland in his Grace's letter, referred to in “ the resolutions of the meeting, arising from Mr. Pitt's remaining “ in his ministerial capacity, it is an embarrassment which Mt. Pitt
cannot remove, by resignation, in order to negociate. In these “ circumstances, Mr. Pitt has it not in his power to suggest any ex
pedient, but is very desirous of learning, whether the Duke of Port“ land can propose any thing which his Grace considers as such; and " he begs at the same time to add, that his present ministerial capacity 4 is no obstacle to his discussing every point that relates to the desirable
object in question, as freely and openly as he could do in any other 4 situation. Berkely-Square, 311 Jan. 1784. SIR,
Devon-House, Saturday, 31 January, 1784. “ I am extremely sorry that Mr. Pitt appears so positively to de• cline suggesting any expedient on his part, to remove the difficul“ ties which obstruct the conference you desire. I believe you will
agree, that the continuance of the present Ministry, and the honour of the House of Commons, are not very easily reconcileable.
" It was the sense of those difficulties, and my earnest desire " of complying with the opinion of gentlemen whose sentiments “ claim my highest respect, that induced me to suggest the possibility " of an expedient which you will easily discern would not depend “ upon me. The recollection of fimilar events in two fucceffive years " led me to flattet myself that there was a middle way between the “ actual resignation of Ministers, and the neglect of what appeared " on-the Journals of the House of Commons. I hoped that Mr. Pitt 6 would have adverted to those events, and I trust they will
" due weight with him. I shall most certainly rejoice in any propoos sition that can promise to lay a basis for the tranquility and settle~ ment which are the objects of our common wilhes.
6. I have the honour to be,
" PORTLAND." Thomas Grosvenor, Esq. Chairman.
St. Alban's Tavern, Monday, Feb. 2, 1784. At a meeting of the gentlmen, Members of the House of Commons, who assembled from time to time, with a view to conciliate differehces, and to forward an union of the contending parties in Parliament, the following letters were read ;
February 1, 1784, Berkeley-Square. “ Mr. Pitt being sincerely desirous that there should not continue
any obstacle in the way of such an intercourse as has been wished for, « regrets that it is not in his power to suggest expedients to remove “ the difficulty felt by the Duke of Portland. He does not under“ stand precisely what is the middle way which his Grace seems to " allude to ; the events in the two years to which his Grace refers,
appear to Mr. Pitt to have been only modes of resignation, and “ such a measure, in order to enter into a negociation, is what the pre“ fent Ministry, as has been already declared, cannot agree to. “ Whenever any expedient is directly stated, Mr. Pitt will be happy
to give every explanation upon it. '
Devon-House, Monday morning, Feb. 2, 1784. “ I very sincerely regret, that the expedient to which I referred “! should be thought unapplicable to the difficulties I had stated; I
certainly suggested it as a mode of resignation, but as a mode of “ resignation the least embarrassing to Government in the ordinary “ functions of office, and at the same time as a proof of a dispoes sition to consult the honour of the House of Commons, as it stands “ pledged by the resolution of the 16th of January. This last is a “ preliminary, which as a friend to the spirit of the constitution, I “ must think myself bound invariably to require.
* With respect to myself, I am willing to hope that I have not « been mistaken in the conception I formed of your wishes, liv “ supposing that it was with Mr. Pitt that you were desirous I “ should have a liberal and unreserved intercourse, and not with “ the head of an Administration, to which I was merely to bring
an accession of strength. But Mr. Pitt's message places him in an“ other character ; and your own good sense will readily suggest to
you, that it was imposible for me to suppose that your expecta« tions extended to a confidential conferrence with him, as the repre“ sentative of the present Administration.
“ If I had done this, I must have fallen in your esteem (which, “ I assure you, is a very ferious object to me) as I should have thewn
myself insensible of what is due to the House of Commons.
your expectations. In conformity with those expectations, (Mr. “ Pitt having uniformly declined to suggest any expedient on his
part) I took the liberty of suggesting an expedient, which I thought might put us into a situation, in which the intercourse
wished “ might take place with propriety.
Thall be happy to find that my propositions have met with your approbation ; but, in every grant, I hope that my anxiety to mesi
rit the partiality you have shewn me, will entitle me to its conti-
" PORTLAND,” Thomas Grosvenor, Esq.
February 2.] Mr. Grosvenor, in the House of Commons, after remarking that his exertions, and those he acted with, in favour of that friendship and harmony, without which no nation can exist, had not been attended with success, moved,
“ That it is the opinion of this House, that in the present arduous “ and critical situation of affairs, it is necessary to have the exertions “ of a firm, efficient, extended, and united Administration, entitled “ to the confidence of this House and the People ; and such as may “ have a tendency to put an end to the unfortunate divisions which “ at present distract this country."
Mr. James Luttrell feconded the motion, and it was carried with out a division.
Mr. Coke, of Norfolk, then moved, " That it is the opinion of this House, that the continuance of the
present Ministry in power, is an obstacle to the formation of such “ an Administration as is likely to have the confidence of this House 66 and the people.”
Mr. Minchin feconded the motion.
About twelve o'clock the question was put, and the House die vided, Ayes
Majority against the Minister 19
Motion concerning the Removal of Administration. February 3.) Mr. Coke, after expresling his disapprobation of the conduct of the present Administration, and regretting the alarming predicament which the country was in for want of a strong and efficient Ministry, begged that the Clerk would read the resolutions which the House had yesterday come to, concerning that matter. The Clerk then read as follows:
" That it is the opinion of this House, that in the present arduous “ and critical situation of affairs, it is necessary to have the exertions “ of a firm, efficient, extended, and united Administration, entitled
to the confidence of this House and the People; and such as may “ have a tendency to put an end to the unfortunate divisions which “ at present distract this country.”
“ That it is the opinion of this House, that the continuance of the “ present Ministry in power, is an obstacle to the formation of such
an Administration as is likely to have the confidence of this House " and the People, and as would have a tendency to put an end to the « present divisions that distract the country.”
Mr. Coke then moved, “ That a copy of these resolutions be pre“ sented to his Majesty by such Members of the House as are of his
Majesty's Privy Council, as expressive of the sense of the House of “ Commons, on the present alarming situation of public affairs.”
Mr. Welbore Ellis seconded the motion.