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si miffed liis Ministers, nor had those Ministers resigned.” This opinion he gave officially to the House, as one in his Majesty's confidence, and the House were to understand it as the Royal opinion.

February 20.] A motion was made by Mr. Powys, and seconded by Sir Horace Mann,

“ That this House, impressed with the most dutiful sense of his Majesty's paternal regard for the welfare of his people, relies on his

Majesty's royal wisdom to take such measures by removing the ob6 ftacle to the formation of such an Administration as this House has 66 declared necessary, and may tend to give effect to the wishes of his « faithful Commons, which have been most humbly represented to “ his Majesty, and which his Majesty has been graciously pleased to 46 assure this House, that he will take into his consideration.” The House divided, Ayes

197 Noes

177 Majority against the Ministry During the division, several Members in the lobby desired Mr. Fox to bring forward directly (as Ministry had dared him to it) the same resolution in form of an Address to the Throne.

Mr. Fox promifed he would ; and on the Speaker resuming his feat, he, after a short preface, moved the same resolution in form of an Address.

Mr. Fox then moved, " That the Address be presented by the whole 6 House.

Mr. Marsham seconded it, and on the question being put, it was carried without a division. Mr. Fox then moved,

6. That such of the Members as were of his “ Majesty's Privy Council do wait on his Majesty to know when he 66 would receive the Address," which was also carried.

The foregoing Resolutions were then drawn up in form of an Address, and the fame was, on the 27th February, prefented by the whole Houfe. To which his Majesty returned the following Answer:

66 Gentlemen, “ I am deeply sensible how highly it concerns the honour of my “ Crown, and the welfare of my people, which is the object always “ nearest my heart, that the public affairs should be conducted by a « firm, efficient, united, and extended administration, entitled to * the confidence of my people, and such as may have a tendency to

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“ put an end to the unhappy divisions and distractions in this coun

try. Very recent endeavours have already been employed, on my “ part, to unite in the public service, on a fair and equal footing, " those whose joint efforts appear to me most capable of producing " that happy effect: these endeavours have not had the success I “ wished. I shall be always defirous of taking every step most con“ ducive to such an object; but I cannot see that it would, in any

degree, be advanced, by the dismission of those at present in my 66 service.

" I observe, at the same time, that there is no charge, or com

plaint, suggested against my present Ministers, nor is any one or “ more of them fpecifically objected to; and numbers of my subjects “ have expressed to me, in the warmest manner, their satisfaction in “ the late changes I have made in my councils. Under these cir“ cumstances, I trust, my faithful Commons will not wish that the “ effential offices of executive government should be vacated, until I “ see a prospect that such a plan of union as I have called for, and “ they have pointed out, may be carried into effect.”

The House having returned, and being resumed,

Lord Beauchamp moved, " that the consideration of the King's An“. Twer should be postponed until Monday March 1,” which was seconded by Mr. Minchen,-put and carried nem. con.

He then moved, “ that the House do adjourn to the same day;" on the question there appeared, Ayes

175
Noes
Majority

-7 March 1.] This day there was another meeting of the Country Gentlemen at the St. Alban's Tavern, when the Hon. Charles Marsham and Mr. Powys stated to the company the circumstances of the negotiation, which they had conducted for some days past, and which had unhappily concluded with as little success as the former endeavours of that body. They said, that when the Duke of Portland delivered his final answer, that he could not meet Mr. Pitt, until he had shewii a disposition to comply with the wishes of the House of Commons, either by an actual or virtual resignation; and that Mr. Pitt had pea semptorily declared, that he would do neither the one nor the other as a preliminary to negotiation. It was thought that an expedient might be found to clear the ground, and bring them to an interview,

without

168

without any concession of principle, but only by a concession of mode. With this view it was, that a message was sent froin his Majesty to the Duke of Portland, intimating “ his Majesty's earnest desire, that “ his Grace should have a personal conference with Mr. Pitt, for the “ purpose of formiug a new Administration on a wide basis, and on fair " and EQUAL terms.' -This message was considered by the Duke of Portland as a removal of the previous obstacle, since, though it was not a declaration on the part of Mr. Pitt, it was tantamount to a virtual resignation. The Preliminaries of the conference were next to be considered; and here an objection presented itself, which called for the explanation of a term in the message.His Grace could have no objection to the word fair-it was a general term, and he and Mr. Pitt might in framing the arrangement mutually, discuss what they considered to be fair ; but the other term in the message, the word equal, was a more specific and limited term; it might be construed variously, and his Grace thought it necessary, as a preliminary to negotiation, that Mr. Pitt should explain precisely what he meant by the word equal. In answer to this, Mr. Pitt said, in a meflage, that there was no occasion, in his mind, of entering into any explanation of the term, as it could be best explained in a personal conference. The Duke of Portland replied to the negotiators, that it was impossible for him to agree to any personal conference on a preliminary message, the terms of which the author refused to explain. Mr. Pitt persevered in his resolution not to explain the word, and here the negotiation broke off. On this statement of the case Mr. Marsham and Mr. Powys delivered their fentiments, and a Resolution was prepared and adopted by the Meeting to the following effect :

“ That it was the sense of that body, that parties in the present “ circumstances of the country, when an union on a broad and com“ prehenfive basis was declared on all hands to be neceffary, should “ not suffer verbal objections, and matters of ceremony and explana“ tion, to prevent them from meeting it; that it would not be either “ dishonourable or improper in them to concede such points; and that “ that Meeting should declare its approbation of those who manifested “ the greatest readiness in making such concession.”—This resolution was communicated to both parties before the meeting of the House of Commans.

Upon

Upon the meeting, Mr. Fox, after moving, that his Majesty's answer to the address from the Houle should be read, the same being read by the Clerk, moved,

“ That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, most “ humbly to represent to his Majesty the satisfaction his faithful “ Commons derive from the late most gracious assurances we have “ received, that his Majesty concurs with us in opinion, that it con“ cerns the honour of his Crown, and the welfare of his people, that 65 the public affairs should be conducted by a firm, efficient, extend“ ed, united administration, entitled to the confidence of his people, “ and such as may have a tendency to put an end to the unhappy di« visions and distractions of this country.

“ To acknowledge his Majesty's paternal goodness, in his late most

gracious endeavours to give effect to the object of our late dutiful “ representation ro his Majesty.

- To lament that the failure of these his Majesty's most gracious 66 endeavours should be considered as a final bar to the accomplishment “ 'of fo salutary and desirable a purpose ; and to express our concern " and disappointment, that his Majesty has not been advised to take

any further step towards uniting in the public service, those whose

joint efforts have recently appeared to his Majesty most capable of “ producing so happy an effect.

That this House, with all humility, claims it as their right, " and, on every proper occasion, feels it to be their bounden duty to « advise his Majesty in the exercise of his undoubted

prerogative in " the choice of Ministers, and to express to his Majesty, when the “ persons whom he may please to call into the public service have not “ the confidence of this House, without being bounden to signify spe66 cific reasons for their opinion.

“ And to express to his Majesty their humble hope, that on a re66 consideration of their late Address, such a plan of union as his Ma

jesty hath called for, and we have pointed out, may, by the re“ moval of the present Ministers, yet be carried into effect.”

Mr. Fox made an apology for moving the Address as it might be supposed, by those who knew him not, that he had personal motives in so doing; but when the House considered what his situation in office must be in coming in again, he supposed no man would envy

him that situation.

Lord

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Majority Mr. Fox then moved, “That such of the Members as were of the

Privy Council Thould wait on his Majesty, to know when he would “ be pleased to receive the Address.” Afterwards he moved, “ That it “ should be prefented by the whole House,” which was agreed to. "

March 4.] On this day, the House met merely for the purpose of doing the private business, previous to their attending his Majesty. At three o'clock, the House was adjourned for an hour, during which time the Speaker, accompanied by several Members, went to St. James's to present the following Address :

TO THE KING. “ WE your Majesty's faithful Commons, approach your Throne « most humbly to represent to your Majesty the satisfaction your " faithful Commons derive from the late most gracious assurances “ we have received, that your Majesty concurs with us in opinion, " that it concerns the honour of your Crown, and the welfare of

your people, that the public affairs should be conducted by a firm, o efficient, extended, united Administration, entitled to the confidence “ of your people, and such as may have a tendency to put an end to “ the unhappy divisions and distractions of this country.

“ We acknowledge your Majesty's paternal goodness, in your late “ most gracious endeavours to give effect to the object of our late du“ tiful representation to your Majesty,

“ We lament that the failure of this your Majesty's most gracious “ endeavours thould be considered as a final bar to the accomplish“ ment of so falutary and desirable a purpose ; and to express our “ concern and disappointment, that your Majesty has not been ad“ vised to take any farther step towards uniting in the public service “ those whose joint efforts have recently appeared to your Majesty “ most capable of producing so happy an effect.

“ Your faithful Commons, with all humility, claim it as their “ right, and, on every proper occasion, feel it to be their bounden

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