The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1706-1713. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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The Queen's Message to the Commons about Prince Eugene's Proposition.
Mr. Secretary St. John did, on the 26th, acquaint the House, That he had received her Majesty's Command, to communicate to that House a Proposition made to her Majesty by Prince Eugene of Savoy, in the Name of the Emperor, for the Support of the War in Spain; viz. His Imperial Majesty judges, that forty thousand Men will be sufficient for this Service, and that the whole Expence of the War in Spain may amount to four Millions of Crowns, towards which his Imperial Majesty offers to make up the Troops which he has in that Country to thirty thousand Men, and to take one Million of Crowns upon himself.
Account of the Distribution of the Moneys for the Year 1711. called for. ; Resolution on the Supply.
On the 27th, they resolved to address her Majesty, That a particular Account might be laid before them, of the Distribution of the Moneys, for the Service of the Year 1711, for the General-Officers, Contingencies, Garrisons, Independent-Companies, and Invalids, in Great-Britain, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Plantations: And the same day, in a Committee of the whole House on the Supply, they resolved to grant the Sum of 260,293 l. 16s. 7d. for maintaining the further Number not exceeding 15178 additional Forces in the Low-Countries, for the Year 1712: Which Resolution was agreed to, the next day, by the House.
Resolution of the Commons about Ways and Means.
The 29th, the House in a Committee of the whole House, went upon Ways and Means for raising the Supply; and came to the following Resolutions:
1. That the Deduction of Two and a half per Cent. which has been, or ought to have been made for the Pay, Subsidies, or other Allowances for foreign Forces in her Majesty's Service, be continued for the Year 1712, and applied for the Service of the War, in Aid of the Provision made, or to be made, in this Session of Parliament for that Purpose.
2. That the Money which is, or, at any time before the first day of August next, shall be deficient to complete the quarterly Payments of the Annuities, amounting to eighty thousand Pounds per Ann. purchased upon an Act of Parliament in the sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, be supplied and made good, out of any public Money that is or shall be in the Exchequer, not appropriated to any particular Use or Uses, by any former Act or Acts of Parliament in that Behalf.
3. That so much as is, or shall at any time or times be deficient to complete the quarterly Payments of the Annuities, amounting to forty thousand Pounds per Annum purchased upon an Act of the sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, and thereby charged upon several Overplus-Moneys therein-mentioned, be supplied and made good from time to time, out of any public Money that is or shall be in the Exchequer, not appropriated to any particular Use or Uses, by any other Act or Acts of Parliament in that Behalf.
4. That for raising the Sum not exceeding fifty Pounds per Ann. resolved to be added to the Fund settled by an Act of the last Session of Parliament, whereby (among other things) a Rent of ten Shillings a Year is payable upon licensing Hackney-Chairs, a farther Power be given for licensing an additional Number of Hackney-Chairs, during the Continuance of the said Act, so as the said additional Number of Chairs do not exceed one hundred, and so as the Rent or Sum payable for each additional Chair, do not exceed ten Shillings per Annum.
Agreed to. ; Representation to the Queen.
These Resolutions being, on the first day of March, reported, were agreed to by the House. After this Sir Thomas Hanmer reported from the Committee, to whom it was referred to draw up a Representation to be made to her Majesty, That they had drawn up the same accordingly, which they had directed him to report to the House; and he read the same in his Place, and afterwards delivered it in-at the Table, where it was read. And a Motion being made, and the Question put, That the said Representation be re-committed; it passed in the Negative: after which it was resolved, That the said Representation be presented to her Majesty by the whole House; which was done accordingly on Tuesday the 4th; being as follows:
'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of Great-Britain in Parliament assembled, having nothing so much at Heart, as to enable your Majesty to bring this long and expensive War to an honourable and happy Conclusion; have taken it into our most serious Consideration, how the necessary Supplies to be provided by us, may be best applied, and how the Common-Cause may in the most effectual Manner be carried on by the united Force of the whole Confederacy: We have thought ourselves obliged, in Duty to your Majesty, and in discharge of the Trust reposed in us, to enquire into the true State of the War in all its Parts; we have examined what Stipulations have been entered into between your Majesty and your Allies, and how far such Engagements have on each side been made good; we have considered the different Interests which the Confederates have in the Success of this War, and the different Shares they have contributed to its Support; we have, with our utmost Care and Diligence, endeavoured to discover the Nature, Extent and Charge of it, to the end, that, by comparing the Weight thereof with our own Strength, we might adapt the one to the other in such measure, as neither to continue your Majesty's Subjects under a heavier Burden than in Reason and Justice they ought to bear, nor deceive your Majesty, your Allies, and ourselves, by undertaking more than the Nation, in its present Circumstances, is able to perform,
'Your Majesty has been graciously pleased, upon our humble Applications, to order such Materials to be laid before us, as have furnished us with the necessary Information upon the Particulars we have enquired into; and, when we shall have laid before your Majesty our Observations and humble Advice upon this Subject, we promise to ourselves this happy Fruit from it, That, if your Majesty's generous and good Purposes for the procuring a safe and lasting Peace should, through the Obstinacy of the Enemy, or by any other Means, be unhappily defeated, a true Knowledge and Understanding of the past Conduct of the War, will be the best Foundation for a more frugal and equal Management of it for the time to come.
'In order to take the more perfect View of what we proposed, and that we might be able to set the whole before your Majesty in a true Light, we have thought it necessary to go back to the Beginning of the War, and beg leave to observe the Motives and Reasons upon which his late Majesty King William engaged first in it. The Treaty of the grand Alliance explains those Reasons to be, for the supporting the Pretensious of his Imperial Majesty, then actually engaged in a War with the French King, who had usurped the entire Spanish-Monarchy for his Grandson the Duke of Anjou; and for the assisting the States-General, who, by the Loss of their Barrier against France, were then in the same or a more dangerous Condition, than if they were actually invaded. As these were the just and necessary Motives for undertaking this War, so the Ends proposed to be obtained by it were equally Wise and Honourable: For, as they are set forth in the eighth Article of the same Treaty, they appear to have been, the procuring an equitable and reasonable Satisfaction to his Imperial Majesty, and sufficient Securities for the Dominions, Provinces, Navigation and Commerce of the King of Great-Britain and the States-General; the making effectual Provision, that the two Kingdoms of France and Spain should never be united under the same Government, and particularly, that the French should never get into the Possession of the Spanish West-Indies, or be permitted to sail thither upon the account of Traffic, under any Pretence whatsoever; and lastly, the securing to the Subjects of the King of Great-Britain and the States-General, all the same Privileges and Rights of Commerce throughout the whole Dominions of Spain, as they enjoyed before the Death of Charles II. King of Spain, by virtue of any Treaty, Agreement, Custom, or any other Way whatsoever. For the obtaining these Ends, the three Confederated Powers engaged to assist one another with their whole Force, according to such Proportions as should be specified in a particular Convention afterwards to be made for that Purpose. We do not find that any such Convention was ever ratified; but it appears, that there was an Agreement concluded, which, by common Consent, was understood to be binding upon each Party respectively, and according to which the Proportions of Great-Britain were from the Beginning regulated and founded: The Terms of that Agreement were, That for the Service at Land, his Imperial-Majesty should furnish ninety thousand Men, the King of Great-Britain forty thousand, and the States-General one hundred and two thousand, of which there were forty two thousand intended to supply their Garrisons, and sixty thousand to act against the Common-Enemy in the Field: And with regard to the Operations of the War at Sea, they were agreed to be performed jointly by Great-Britain and the States-General; the Quota of Ships to be furnished for that Service, being five eighths on the Part of Great-Britain, and three eighths on the Part of the States-General.
'Upon this foot the War began in 1702, at which time the whole yearly Expence of it to England, amounted to three Millions, seven hundred and six thousand, four hundred ninety-four pounds; a very great Charge, as it was then thought by your Majesty's Subjects, after the short interval of ease they had enjoyed from the burden of the former War; but yet a very moderate Proportion, in comparison with the Load which hath since been laid upon them; for it appears, by Estimates given in to your Commons, that the Sums necessary to carry on the Service for this present Year, in the same manner as it was performed the last Year, amount to more than six Million, nine hundred and sixty-thousand Pounds, besides Interest for the Public Debt, and the Deficiencies accruing the last Year; which two Articles require one Million, one hundred and forty three thousand Pounds more: So that the whole Demands upon your Commons, are arisen to more than eight Millions for the present annual Supply. We know your Majesty's tender regard for the Welfare of your People, will make it uneasy to you, to hear of so great a Pressure as this upon them; and as we are assured it will fully convince your Majesty of the Necessity of our present Enquiry, so we beg leave to represent to you from what Causes, and by what Steps this immense Charge appears to have grown upon us.
'The Service at Sea, as it hath been very large and extensive in itself, so it hath been carried on through the whole Course of the War, in a manner highly disadvantageous to your Majesty and your Kingdom: for the Necessity of Affairs requiring, that great Fleets should be fitted out every Year, as well for the maintaining a Superiority in the Mediterranian, as for opposing any Force, which the Enemy might prepare, either at Dunkirk or in the Ports of West-France, your Majesty's Example and Readiness in fitting out your Proportion of Ships for all Parts of that Service, have been so far from prevailing with the States-General to keep Pace with you, that they have been deficient every Year to a great Degree, in Proportion to what your Majesty hath furnished, sometimes no less than two thirds, and generally more than half of their Quota. From hence your Majesty has been obliged, for the preventing Disappointments in the most pressing Service, to supply those Deficiencies by additional Reinforcements of your own Ships; nor hath the Increase of such a Charge been the only ill Consequence that attended it, for by this means the Debt of the Navy hath inhanced, so that the Discounts arising upon the Credit of it, have affected all other Parts of the Service; from the same Cause, your Majesty's Ships of War have been forced in greater Numbers to continue in remote Seas, and at unseasonable Times of the Year, to the great Damage and Decay of the British Navy. This also hath been the Occaasion, that your Majesty hath been streightned in your Convoys for Trade; your Coasts have been exposed for want of a sufficient Number of Cruisers to guard them, and you have been disabled from annoying the Enemy in their most beneficial Commerce with the West-Indies, from whence they received those Supplies of Treasure, without which they could not have supported the Expences of this War.
'That Part of the War, which hath been carried on in Flanders, was at first immediately necessary to the Security of the States-General, and hath since brought them great Acquisitions both of Revenue and Dominion. Yet, even there, the original Proportions have been departed from, and, during the Course of the War, have been sinking, by Degrees, on the Part of Holland; so that, in this last Year, we find the Number in which they fell short of their three Fifths, to your Majesty's two fifths, have been twenty thousand eight hundred and thirty seven Men: We are not unmindful, that, in the Year 1703, a Treaty was made between the two Nations, for a joint Augmentation of twenty thousand Men, wherein the Proportions were varied, and England consented to take half upon itself: But it having been annexed, as an express Condition to the Grant of the said Augmentation in Parliament, that the States-General should prohibit all Trade and Commerce with France; and that Condition having not been performed by them, the Commons think it reasonable, that the first Rule of three to two ought to have taken Place again, as well in that as in other subsequent Augmentations; more especially when they consider, that the Revenues of those rich Provinces which have been conquered, would, if they were duly applied, maintain a great Number of Additional Forces against the common Enemy, notwithstanding which, the States-General have raised none upon that Account, but make use of those fresh Supplies of Money, only to ease themselves in the Charge of their first established Quota.
'As, in the Progress of the War in Flanders, a Disproportion was soon created, to the prejudice of England; so the very beginning of the War in Portugal brought an unequal share of Burden upon us. For although the Emperor and the States-General were equally Partners with your Majesty in the Treaty with the King of Portugal, yet the Emperor neither furnishing his third Part of the Troops and Subsidies stipulated for, nor the Dutch consenting to take an equal Share of his Imperial Majesty's Defect upon themselves, your Majesty hath been obliged to furnish two thirds of the entire Expence created by that Service: Nor has the Inequality stopped there, for ever since the Year 1706, when the English and Dutch Forces marched out of Portugal into Castile, the States-General have entirely abandoned the War in Portugal, and left your Majesty to prosecute it singly at your own Charge, which you have accordingly done, by replacing a greater Number of Troops there, than even at first you took upon you to provide. At the same time, your Majesty's generous Endeavours for the Support and Defence of the King of Portugal, have been but ill seconded by that Prince himself; for notwithstanding that, by his Treaty, he has obliged himself to furnish twelve thousand Foot, and three thousand Horse, upon his own Account, besides eleven thousand Foot and two thousand Horse more, in consideration of a Subsidy paid to him; yet, according to the best Information your Commons can procure, it appears, that he hath scarce at any time furnished thirteen thousand Men in the whole.
'In Spain the War hath been yet more unequal and burdensome to your Majesty, than in any other Branch of it; for, being commenced without any Treaty whatsoever, the Allies have almost wholly declined taking any Part of it upon themselves. A small Body of English and Dutch Troops were sent thither, in the Year 1705, not as being thought sufficient to support a regular War, or to make the Conquest of so large a Country, but with a View only of assisting the Spaniards to set King Charles upon the Throne, occasioned by the great Assurances which were given of their Inclinations to the House of Austria: But this Expectation failing, England was insensibly drawn into an established War, under all the Disadvantages of the Distance of the Place, and the seeble Efforts of the other Allies. The Account we have to lay before your Majesty, upon this Head is, that although this undertaking was entered upon at the particular and earnest Request of the Imperial Court, and for a Cause of no less Importance and Concern to them, than the reducing the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Austria; yet neither the late Emperor, nor his present Imperial Majesty have ever had any Forces there on their own Account, till the last Year, and then only one Regiment of Foot, consisting of two thousand Men: Though the States-General have contributed something more to this Service, yet their Share also hath been inconsiderable; for in the space of four Years, from 1705, to 1707, both inclusive, all the Forces they have sent into that Country, have not exceeded twelve thousand two hundred Men; and from the Year 1708, to this time, they have not sent any Forces or Recruits whatsoever. To your Majesty's Care and Charge the Recovery of that Kingdom hath been in a manner wholly left, as if none else were interested or concerned in it: And the Forces your Majesty hath sent into Spain, in the space of seven Years, from 1705, to 1711, both inclusive, have amounted to no less than fifty seven thousand nine hundred seventy three Men, be sides thirteen Battalions and eighteen Squadrons for which your Majesty hath paid a Subsidy to the Emperor. How great the established Expence of such a Number of Men hath been, your Majesty very well knows, and your Commons very sensibly feel: But the Weight will be found much greater, when it is considered how many heavy Articles of unusual and extraordinary Charge have attended this remote and difficult Service: all which have been entirely defrayed by your Majesty, except that one of transporting the few Forces which were sent by the States General, and victualling of them, during their Transportation only. The Accounts delivered to your Commons shew, that the Charge of your Majesty's Ships and Vessels, employed in the Service of the War in Spain and Portugal, reckoned after the Rate of four Pounds a Man per Month, from the time they sailed from hence, till they returned, were lost, or put upon other Services, hath amounted to six Millions five hundred and forty thousand nine hundred and sixty six Pounds fourteen Shillings. The Charge of Transports, on the Part of GreatBritain, for carrying on the War in Spain and Portugal, from the beginning of it till this time, hath amounted to one Million three hundred thirty six thousand seven hundred and nineteen Pounds nineteen Shillings and eleven Pence. That of victualling Land Forces for the same Service, to five hundred eighty three thousand, seven hundred and seventy Pounds, eight Shillings, and six Pence; and that of Contingencies, and other Extraordinaries for the same Service, to one Million, eight hundred and forty thousand three hundred fifty three Pounds.
'We should take notice to your Majesty, of several Sums paid upon account of Contingencies and Extraordinaries in Flanders, making together the Sum of one Million one hundred and seven thousand ninety six Pounds: But we are not able to make any Comparison of them, with what the StatesGeneral have expended upon the same Head, having no such State of their extraordinary Charge before us. There remains, therefore, but one Particular more for your Majesty's Observation, which arises from the Subsidies paid to foreign Princes. These, at the beginning of the War, were borne in equal Proportion by your Majesty and the States-General; but in this Instance also, the Ballance hath been cast in Prejudice of your Majesty: For it appears, That your Majesty hath since advanced more than your equal Proportion, three Millions one hundred fifty five thousand Crowns, besides Extraordinaries paid in Italy, and not included in any of the foregoing Articles, which arise to five hundred thirty nine thousand five hundred fifty three Pounds.
'We have laid these several Particulars before your Majesty, in the shortest manner, we have been able; and, by an Estimate grounded on the preceding Facts, it does appear, that, over and above the Quota's on the Part of Great-Britain, answering to those contributed by your Allies, more than nineteen Millions have been expended by your Majesty during the Course of this War, by way of Surplusage or Exceeding; in ballance of which, none of the Confederates have furnished any thing whatsoever.
'It is with great Concern, that we find so much Occasion given us to represent, how ill an Use hath been made of your Majesty's and your Subjects Zeal for the Common Cause; that the Interest of that Cause hath not been proportionably promoted by it, but others only have been eased at your Majesty's and your Subjects Cost, and have been connived at in laying their Part of the Burden upon this Kingdom, altho' they have upon all Accounts been equally, and, in most Respects, much more nearly concerned than Britain, in the Issue of the War. We are persuaded, your Majesty will think it pardonable in us, with some Resentment, to complain of the little Regard which some of those, whom your Majesty of late Years entrusted, have shewn to the Interests of their Country, in giving way, at least, to such unreasonable Impositions upon it, if not in some Measure contriving them: The Course of which Impositions hath been so singular and extraordinary, that the more the Wealth of this Nation hath been exhausted, and the more your Majesty's Arms have been attended with Success, the heavier hath been the Burden laid upon us: whilst, on the other hand, the more vigorous your Majesty's Efforts have been, and the greater the Advantages which have redounded thence to your Allies, the more those Allies have abated in their Share of the Expence.
'At the first Entrance into this War, the Commons were induced to exert themselves in the extraordinary Manner they did, and to grant such large Supplies, as had been unknown to former Ages, in hopes, thereby, to prevent the Mischiefs of a lingring War, and to bring that, in which they were necessarily engaged, to a speedy Conclusion: But they have been very unhappy in the Event, whilst they have so much Reason to suspect, that what was intended to shorten the War, hath proved the very Cause of its long Continuance; for those to whom the Profits of it have accrued, have not been disposed easily to forego them. And your Majesty will from thence discern the true Reason, why so many have delighted in a War, which brought in so rich an Harvest yearly from Great-Britain.
'We are as far from desiring, as we know your Majesty will be from concluding, any Peace, but upon safe and honourable Terms; and we are far from intending to excuse ourselves from raising all necessary and possible Supplies for an effectual Prosecution of the War, till such a Peace can be obtained. All that your faithful Commons aim at, all that they wish, is, an equal Concurrence from the other Powers engaged in Alliance with your Majesty, and a just Application of what hath been already gained from the Enemy towards promoting the common Cause. Several large Countries and Territories have been restored to the House of Austria; such as the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan, and other Places in Italy: Others have been conquered, and added to their Dominions, as the two Electorates of Bavaria and Cologn, the Duchy of Mantua, and the Bishoprick of Liege; these having been reduced in great Measure by our Blood and Treasure, may, we humbly conceive, with great Reason be claimed to come in Aid towards carrying on the War in Spain: And therefore we make it our earnest Request to your Majesty, that you would give Instructions to your Ministers to insist, with the Emperor, that the Revenues of those several Places, excepting only such a Proportion thereof as is necessary for their Defence, be actually so applied. And as to the other Parts of the War, to which your Majesty hath obliged yourself by particular Treaties to contribute, we humbly beseech your Majesty, that you will be pleased to take effectual Care, that your Allies do perform their Parts stipulated by those Treaties; and that your Majesty will, for the future, no otherwise furnish Troops, or pay Subsidies, than in Proportion to what your Allies shall actually furnish and pay. When this Justice is done to your Majesty, and to your People, there is nothing which your Commons will not chearfully grant, towards supporting your Majesty in the Cause in which you are engaged. And whatever farther shall appear to be necessary for carrying on the War, either at Sea or Land, we will effectually enable your Majesty to bear your reasonable Share of any such Expence, and will spare no Supplies which your Subjects are able with their utmost Efforts, to afford.
'After having enquired into, and considered the State of the War, in which the Part of your Majesty has borne, appears to have been not only superior to that of any one Ally, but even equal to that of the whole Consederacy; your Commons naturally inclined to hope, that they should find, Care had been taken of securing some particular Advantages to Britain, in the Terms of a future Peace; such as might afford a Prospect of making the Nation amends in time for that immense Treasure which has been expended, and those heavy Debts which have been contracted in the Course of so long and burdensome a War. This reasonable Expectation could no way have been better answered, than by some Provision made for the farther Security, and the great Improvement, of the Commerce of Great-Britain: But we find ourselves so very far disappointed in these Hopes, that, in a Treaty not long since concluded between your Majesty and the States-General, under a Colour of a mutual Guaranty given for two Points of the greatest Importance to both Nations, the Succession and the Barrier, it appears, the Interest of Great-Britain hath been not only neglected, but sacrificed; and that several Articles in the said Treaty are destructive to the Trade and Welfare of this Kingdom, and therefore highly dishonourable to your Majesty.
'Your Commons observe, in the first Place, that several Towns and Places are, by Virtue of this Treaty, to be put into the Hands of the States-General; particularly Newport, Dendermond, and the Castle of Ghent; which can, in no Sense be looked upon as a Part of a Barrier against France; but, being the Keys of the Netherlands towards Britain, must make the Trade of your Majesty's Subjects in those Parts precarious; and whenever the States think fit, totally exclude them from it. The pretended Necessity of putting these Places into the Hands of the States-General, in order to secure to them a Communication with their Barrier, must appear vain and groundless: For the Sovereignty of the Low Countries being not to remain to an Enemy, but to a Friend and an Ally, that Communication must be always secure, and uninterrupted: Besides that, in Case of a Rupture, or an Attack, the States have full Liberty allowed them to take Possession of all the Spanish Netherlands, and therefore needed no particular Stipulation for the Towns abovementioned.
'Having taken Notice of this Concession made to the States-General for seizing upon the whole ten Provinces, we cannot but observe to your Majesty, that, in the manner this Article is framed, it is another dangerous Circumstance which attends this Treaty: For, had such a Provision been confined to the Case of an apparent Attack from France only, the avowed Design of this Treaty had been fulfilled, and your Majesty's Instructions to your Ambassador had been pursued: But this necessary Restriction hath been omitted; and the same Liberty is granted to the States to take Possession of all the Netherlands, whenever they shall think themselves attacked by any other Neighbouring Nation, as when they shall be in Danger from France; so that, if it should at any time happen (which your Commons are very unwilling to suppose) that they should quarrel even with your Majesty; the Riches, Strength, and advantageous Situation of these Countries may be made use of against your self, without whose generous and powerful Assistance they had never been conquered.
'To return to those ill Consequences, which relate to the Trade of your Kingdoms, we beg Leave to observe to your Majesty, That tho this Treaty revives and tenders your Majesty a Party to the fourteenth and fifteenth Articles of the Treaty of Munster, by Virtue of which, the Impositions upon all Goods and Merchandises brought into the Spanish Low Countries by the Sea, are to equal those laid on Goods and Merchandises imported by the Scheld, and the Canals of Sass and Swyn, and other Mouths of the Sea adjoining; yet no Care is taken to preserve that Equality upon the Exportation of those Goods out of the Spanish Provinces, into those Countries and Places, which, by Virtue of this Treaty, are to be in the Possession of the States. The Consequence of which must in time be, and your Commons are informed, that in some Instances it has already proved to be the Case, that the Impositions upon Goods carried into those Countries and Places by the Subjects of the States-General, will be taken off, whilst those upon the Goods imported by your Majesty's Subjects remain: by which Means Great-Britain will entirely lose this most beneficial Branch of Trade, which it has been in all Ages possess'd of, even from the time when those Countries were govern'd by the House of Burgundy, one of the most ancient, as well as the most useful Allies to the Crown of England.
'With regard to the other Dominions and Territories of Spain, your Majesty's Subjects have always been distinguish'd in their Commerce with them, and, both by ancient Treaties and an uninterrupted Custom, have enjoyed greater Privileges and Immunities of Trade, than either the Hollanders, or any other Nation whatsoever. And that wise and excellent Treaty of the grand Alliance provides effectually for the Security and Continuance of these valuable Privileges to Britain, in such a manner, as that each Nation might be left at the End of the War upon the same foot as it stood at the Commencement of it. But this Treaty we now complain of, instead of confirming your Subjects Rights, surrenders and destroys them: For, although by the sixteenth and seventeenth Articles of the Treaty of Munster, made between his Catholcik Majesty and the States-General, all Advantages of Trade are stipulated for, and granted to the Hollanders, equal to what the English enjoyed; yet, the Crown of England not being a Party to that Treaty, the Subjects of England have never submitted to those Articles of it, nor even the Spaniards themselves ever observed them: But this Treaty revives those Articles in Prejudice of Great Britain, and makes your Majesty a Party to them, and even a Guarantee to the States General for Privileges against your own People.
'In how deliberate and extraordinary a manner your Majesty's Ambassador consented to deprive your Subjects of their ancient Rights, and your Majesty of the Power of procuring to them any new Advantage, most evidently appears from his own Letters, which, by your Majesty's Directions, have been laid before your Commons: For, when Matters of Advantage to your Majesty and to your Kingdom had been offered, as proper to be made Parts of this Treaty, they were refused to be admitted by the States General, upon this Reason and Principle, That nothing foreign to the Guaranties of the Succession and of the Barrier, should be mingled with them; notwithstanding which, the States General had no sooner received notice of a Treaty of Commerce concluded between your Majesty and the present Emperor, but they departed from the Rule proposed before, and insisted upon the Article of which your Commons now complain, which Article your Majesty's Ambassador allowed of, altho' equally foreign to the Succession, or the Barrier; and altho' he had, for that Reason, departed from other Articles, which would have been for the Service of his own Country.
'We have forborne to trouble your Majesty with general Observations upon this Treaty, as it relates to, and affects the Empire, and other Parts of Europe. The Mischiefs which arise from it to Great Britain, are what only we have presumed humbly to represent to you. As they are very evident and very great, and as it appears, that the Lord Viscount Townshend had not any Orders or Authority for concluding several of those Articles which are most prejudicial to your Majesty's Subjects, we thought we could do no less than declare your said Ambassador, who negociated and signed, and all others who who advised the ratifying of this Treaty, Enemies to your Majesty and your Kingdom.
'Upon these faithful Informations and Advices from your Commons, we assure ourselves, your Majesty, in your great Goodness to your People, will rescue them from those Evils, which the private Counsels of ill-designing Men have exposed them to; and that, in your great Wisdom, you will find some Means for the explaining and amending the several Articles of this Treaty, so as that they may consist with the Interest of Great Britain, and with a real and lasting Friendship between your Majesty and the Sates General.
Her Majesty's Answer.
Her Majesty's most gracious Answer.
'This Representation is a further Instance of that dutiful Affection to my Service, and Concern for the public Interest, which this House of Commons has always shewn.
'You may be assured that I will give such Orders as shall effectually answer what you desire of me in every Particular.
The 3d, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, the Lord High Treasurer, and other Lords commissioned by her Majesty to give the royal Assent to several Bills, sent a Message to the House of Commons, by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, to desire the immediate Attendance of that House in the House of Peers; which being readily comply'd with, the Lords Commissioners gave the royal Assent to the following public Bills, viz.
1. An Act for recruiting her Majesty's Land-Forces and Marines, for the Service of the Year 1712. 2. An Act to continue the Act of the last Sesson of Parliament, for taking, examining and stating the public Accompts of the Kingdom for one Year longer. 3. An Act to prevent the disturbing those of the Episcopal Communion in that Part of Great-Britain called Scotland, in the Exercise of their religious Worship, and in the Use of the Liturgy of the Church of England; and for repealing the Act passed in the Parliament of Scotland, entitled, An Act against irregular Baptisms and Marriages. 4. An Act for enlarging the Term for Payment of certain Duties granted in and by an Act of Parliament passed in the 7th Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for preserving and enlarging the Harbour of Whitehaven, in the County of Cumberland.
Resolutions on the Supply for the War in Spain.
The Commons being returned to their House, in a grand Committee, consider'd further of the Supply, and resolv'd, 'That 225,385 l. 7 s. 8 d. be granted to defray the Charge of the British, and other Forces in her Majesty's Pay in Spain for one quarter of a Year, from Christmas 1711, to Lady-day 1712. 2. That 250,000 l. be granted for her Majesty's Proportion of the War in Spain for three quarters of a Year, from Lady-day 1712, to Christmas 1712, the same being after the rate of 333,333 l. 6s. 8d. per Ann. for her Majesty's Part of four Millions of Crowns, to be born by her Majesty and her Allies, for the carrying on the said War. 3. That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, humbly beseeching her Majesty, that it might be represented to his Imperial Majesty, that, from and after the 25th of March, 1712, her Majesty will look upon herself obliged to contribute no more to the Expence of carrying on the War in Spain, than one third of four Millions of Crowns proposed by Prince Eugene of Savoy, for the Charge of that Part of the War. These Resolutions being the next Day reported, were agreed to by the House; and it was order'd, that the said Address be presented to her Majesty, by such Members of this House as were of her Majesty's most honourable Privy-Council; which was done accordingly by Mr. Benson, Chancellor of the Exchequer: upon which, the Queen was pleas'd to comply with the Desires of the House.
Votes against the Election of Robert Walpole Esq;
The 5th, the Commons, in a Committee of the whole House, consider'd further of Ways and Means to raise the Supply, but came to no Resolution. The next day, they took into consideration the Merits of the Petition of Samuel Taylor Esq; and of the Freemen and Burghers of the Borough of King's-Lynn, in the County of Norfolk, against the Election of Robert Walpole Esq; and a Motion being made, and the Question put, that Counsel be called, it passed in the Negative. Then the Writ for electing a Burgess for the said Burgh, in the room of Robert Walpole Esq; expelled the House, and also the Sheriff of Norfolk's Precept thereupon, and the Indenture of the Return between the said Sheriff and the Mayor and Burgesses of the said Borough were read: After which it was resolved, '1. That Robert Walpole Esq; having been, this Session of Parliament, committed a Prisoner to the Tower of London, and expelled this House, for an high Breach of Trust in the Execution of his Office, and notorious Corruption when Secretary at War, was, and is incapable of being elected a Member to serve in Parliament. 2. That Samuel Taylor Esq; is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of King's-Lynn. 3. That the late Election for a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the said Borough of King's-Lynn is a void Election: And thereupon it was order'd, 'That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a new Writ for the electing a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of King's-Lynn, in the County of Norfolk, in the room of Robert Walpole Esq;
Resolutions on the Supply reported, and agreed to.
The 7th, the House in a grand Committee consider'd further of the Supply, as they did likewise on the 12th, and the Resolutions taken at those two Sittings were reported and agreed to on the 13th, being as follows: '1. That 196,452 l. 14 s. 10 d. be granted for her Majesty's Proportion of the Pay, Subsidies and other Charges for carrying on the War in Portugal, for the Year 1712. 2. That 111,983 l. 10 s. 4 d. be granted for the Charge of the Office of her Majesty's Ordnance for Land-Service, for the Year 1712. 3. That 2500 l. be granted for carrying on and finishing the Fortifications of Edinburgh Castle. 4. The Sum of 1620 l. for the Fortifications of Dunbarton Castle; and 5. The Sum of 308 l. 6 s. 9 d. for the Fortifications of Fort William.'
And on Ways and Means. ; Reported and agreed to. ; Bill to hinder the further Growth of Popery.
Three Days before, the House, in a grand Committee, had considered further of Ways and Means for raising the Supply; and resolv'd, 'That a Duty be laid upon all Silks, Callicoes, Linnens and Stuffs, of what kind soever, which shall be printed, stained or painted in Great Britain, except Stuffs made of Woollen, or whereof the greatest Part in value shall be Woollen. 2. That the said Duty upon all Silks, be after the Rate of 6 d. upon every Yard in Length, reckoning half a Yard for the Breadth, and in that Proportion for wider and narrower Silks 3. That the said Duties on Callicoes to be so printed, &c. be after the Rate of 4 d. for every Yard in Length, reckoning a Yard wide, and in that Proportion. 4. That the said Duty upon all other Linnen and Stuffs, (except before excepted) be after the Rate of 2 d. for every Yard in Length, and in that Proportion for greater or lesser Quantities. 5. That the said Duties be granted for the Term of 32 Years. 6. That one half of the said Rates be charged upon any Stock of the said Commodities now in the Hands of Drapers, or other Traders for Sale, either by Wholesale or Retale. 7. That a Duty be laid on all Bricks, Tiles, Slate and Lime, made within the Limits of the Weekly-Bills of Mortality, or brought into the same, whether the said Bricks, Tiles, and Lime, be made or brought for Sale, or not for Sale. 8. That a Duty be laid on all Stones, which shall be brought within the Limits of the Weekly-Bills of Mortality, to be used in building or paving. 9. That the Duty be after the Rate of 3 s. per Thousand upon the said Bricks. 10. That the Duty be after the Rate of 4 s. upon the plain Tiles. 11. That the Duty be after the Rate of 2 s. per Quarter upon the said Lime. 12. That the Duty be after the Rate of 6s. per Thousand upon all Pan-Tiles, Ridge-Tiles, and Gutter-Tiles. 13. That the Duty be after the Rate of 3 s. per Hundred upon all Paving-Tiles of 12 Inches square, and proportionably for a greater or lesser Size. 14. That the Duty be after the Rate of 4 s. per Thousand upon all Slate to be used for covering of Houses. 15. That the Duty upon Stone be after the Rate of 2 s. per Ton, as well upon the Unwrought-Stone to be used in Building as upon all Stone to be used in Paving: Which Resolutions were reported, and agreed to on the 11th of March. The same day, the Earl of Hertford presented to the House, a Bill to hinder the further Growth of Popery, by more effectually preventing the foreign Education of Children of Popish Parents, and enforcing the Laws against Popery: And the same was received, read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time.
Two Acts passed in Scotland, about Patronages read. ; Bill to restore the Patrons to their ancient Rights in Scotland, brought in thereon.
On the 13th, upon a Motion for the reading two Acts passed in the Parliament of Scotland, the one entitled, Act concerning Patronages, 1690; the other, An Act for Encouragement of Preachers at vacant Churches, be North-Forth, in July 1695, the same were read accordingly: And a Motion being made, and the Question proposed, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, to restore the Patrons to their ancient Rights of presenting Ministers to the Churches vacant, in that Part of Great-Britain called Scotland; a Debate arose thereupon, and a Motion was made, and the Question put, that the said Debate be adjourned. But the Question being carried in the Negative, the said Bill was afterwards ordered to be brought in.
Second Report of the Commissioners of public Accounts.
The 17th, the second Report of the Commissioners of public Accounts was said before the House, as follows:
'Your Commissioners here humbly present a State of the Receipts and Issues of your Majesty's Exchequer, from the Feast of St. Michael 1710, to the Feast of St. Michael 1711, taken from the Returns made to them by the several Officers concerned in the Management of the public Revenue; to which they beg leave to add their Observations on some Matters of Fact, that have appeared to them in the Prosecution of their Enquiries.
'They do not presume to urge any Reasons for their not having made a greater Progress, because they humbly hope the House will believe their utmost Application hath not been wanting. But they take liberty to repeat what they formerly mentioned, that the whole Accompts of the Army (which is the greatest Branch of the public Expence) are not yet delivered to them; tho', as they are assured by the Pay-master of the Forces abroad, all Dispatch is used in preparing those Accompts; and your Commissioners cannot effectually enquire into the Mismanagements of the Army which they have in View, till those Accompts are completely brought before them, and till they shall. have compared the several Facts with the particular Articles relating to them: for it is from thence they will be able to draw the best and truest Observations, and to form the justest and most exact Representations.
'Your Commissioners conceive it not improper to begin this Report with the Revenue of Scotland, because some Facts of Consequence, and, in their Opinion, highly deserving the Consideration of the House, have occurred to them in the Examination thereof.
'But, before they offer their Observations, they must take Notice of a very material Circumstance relating to this Revenue; which is, that they cannot find any Commission for constituting Lords-Commissioners of the Treasury there; from the time of her Majesty's Accession to the Throne, till after the Union; the last Commission before the Union, bearing Date the 30th of January 1696.
'By an Act of Parliament passed in Scotland, October the 9th, 1696, it is, amongst other things, enacted, That no Commission Civil or Military, shall become-void by the Death of the King, but that the same shall continue in force the Space of six Months, unless recalled by the next Successor.
'On the Death of King William, a Proclamation was issued, by which all Officers Civil and Military, were authorized and required to act in all things conformable to the last Commissions and Instructions they had from his late Majesty, till new Commissions from the Queen could be prepared and sent down to them.
'Some time after this, new Commissions were sent down, appointing all the Officers Civil and Military in Scotland, except only those for the Treasury, for which no Commission was granted by her Majesty till the 23d of June 1707. But, we must observe, that by the Usage of Scotland, when any Alteration is made in the Treasury, 'tis not done by renewing the Commission as here in England, but by a Letter from the Crown. And her Majesty was pleased to make so many Alterations, that the major Part of the Commissioners were changed within the time of her Accession to the Throne, and that of the Union, by Letters in the Form following:
'Whereas we have resolved to appoint A B. to be one of the Commissioners of our Treasury, These are therefore to authorize and require you, to admit and receive him as one of your Number; hereby giving and granting to him, the same Power and Authority, with all Privileges and Immunities whatsoever, that are, or have been competent to any other Commissioner of Treasury, and declaring these Presents to be for his Admission, of as full Force, Strength and Effect, as if he had been nominated and appointed in, and by our Commission granted to you under our Great-Seal, whereanent we have thought fit to dispense'
'From whence 'tis observable, that the whole public Revenue of Scotland was for some time left without any legal Direction or Government. For the Commission of King William could be continued by virtue of the Act of Parliament, no longer in Force than six Months, nor by the Proclamation, any longer than till her Majesty's signing the first Letter, after the Expiration of the six Months: For the Words, 'As if he had been nominated and appointed in and by our Commission granted to you under our GreatSeal,' seem to determine the Effect of that Proclamation, and suppose a Commission granted by her Majesty. But, allowing the first Letter was not a total Repeal of King William's Commission, and only a Repeal in part; yet it must be admitted, that, as soon as her Majesty had added a Majority of new Commissioners, or so many as being joined with the lesser Number of the old, would make a Majority, then the old Commission was superseded, and the Treasury under a new (if any) Administration.
'Now your Commissioners are humby of Opinion, that these Letters referring to a Patent which was never in being, wanted a Foundation, and could by no Construction of Law ever have any Operation or Effect; and that those, who, under Colour of them, were admitted into the Treasury, have acted without Authority.
'But we presume not to argue how far their Proceedings may be thought illegal, or whether her Majesty may be said to have been deceived by this Neglect or Mismanagement, or how extensive the Mischiefs have already been, or may hereafter be to Scotland, or how far it will involve the People there, who have been concerned in Contracts, Leases, Purchases, or otherwise, with the Treasury.
'But certain it is, that the Public hath been rendered liable to many Inconveniencies, and her Majesty must have been deceived when she ordered Loans from the Treasury of England to the Treasury of Scotland, particularly that of 20,000 Pounds in the Year 1706: For the Treasury of Scotland, not being then (as we observe) rightly constituted, could neither give Security for Money lent, nor legally make Repayment of it.
'Your Commissioners therefore, with great Submission, propose it to the House, whether this Defect will not want the Assistance of the Legislature, or whether the present Proceedings of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, relating to any Mismanagements of the Revenue thereof, during this Suspension of the Commission and legal Power of the Treasury, are not void; and consequently, whether the Judgments grounded upon them will not be found ineffectual.
'But, having humbly mentioned this Circumstance of the Treasury of Scotland, we will proceed to the Revenue, and begin with an Account of the Loan of 20,000 l. in the Year 1706. as it appears to us in the manner, and by the Evidence following.
'We, having ground to believe, that considerable Sums of public Money had been sent from England to Scotland, when the Act of Union was under Consideration in the Parliament there, enquired into the Reasons of it; and, understanding that Sir David Nairn had been concerned in the Receipt and Remittance of 20,000 l. we examined him on Oath, and he declared to the Effect following:
'That in the Year 1706, he received the Sum of 20,000 l. at two several Payments, 10,000 l. on the 17th of October, and 10,000 l. more on the 26th of November following, for which he gave two Receipts to Sidney, Earl of Godolphin, then Lord-Treasurer of England.
'That this Money was lent, as he declared, by her Majesty to the Treasury of Scotland, upon a Representation from the Duke of Queensberry, Earl of Seafield, Earl of Marr, Earl of London, and Earl of Glasgow, that there were Deficiencies in the Civil-List, and upon their Promise that it should be repaid, which he thinks, was accordingly done out of the Equivalent-Money: That he was empowered by a Letter from the Lords of the Treasury in Scotland, to receive that Money here, and to give a Receipt for it, which he accordingly did, and by their Direction remitted it to the Earl of Glasgow, at Edinburgh, but knows nothing certain of the distributing of it, has heard only, that it was paid to the Lord Twedale, and other of the Queen's Servants.
'All which is confirmed by the Earl of Glasgow, who, in Return to a Precept of your Commissioners, after giving a particular Account of the distributing of the 20,000 l. in Scotland, declares on Oath, (to use his own Words) that it consisted with his own proper Knowledge, that 12,325 l. were paid back after the Union to the Earl of Godolphin, then Lord-Treasurer:
'But your Commissioners finding no Mention of the Receipt of this Sum of 12,325 l. or of the other remaining Part of the 20,000 l. in the Certificates, or Books of the Exchequer, were unwilling to make any Representation of the Fact, till they had given the Earl of Godolphin an Opportunity of declaring what he knew of this Loan to Scotland, and on some Questions proposed to his Lordship relating thereunto, he made the underwritten Deposition.
'The Right Honourable, the Earl of Godolphin being sworn, deposeth, That he had the Queen's Commands in the Year 1706, or thereabouts, when the Kingdoms of England and Scotland were separate, to lend to the Treasury of Scotland, the Sum (as he thinks) of 20,000 l. that he cannot recollect whether any Part of it was repaid, but that he understood it was to be employed for her Majesty's secret Service in Scotland.
Jurat. 25. Feb. 1711-12. GODOLPHIN.
'The day after this Deposition was made, his Lordship transmitted the following Letter to your Commissioners:
'Gentlemen, 25 Feb. 1711-12.
In pursuance of what I said to you yesterday at your Board, I have endeavoured to recollect myself as well as I am able upon the Subject you mentioned to me, and do believe, that 12,000 l. or thereabouts, was repaid to the Queen by her Servants of Scotland, and to the best of my Remembrance, they prevailed with her Majesty not to require the Remainder of the 20,000 l. from them. I am,
Your most Humble Servant,
'P. S. When I said yesterday, that I understood this Money was to be made use of for the Queen's secret Service in Scotland, I only meant that I thought so, but was not certain of it.
'Your Commissioners, after the Receipt of this Letter, gave the Earl of Godolphin the trouble of coming to them a second time, and then his Lordship was pleased to make another Deposition in these Terms:
'The Right Honourable the Earl of Godolphin being sworn, deposed, That the 12,000 l. or thereabouts, mentioned in his Lordship's Letter of the 25th of February 1711-12, to the Commissioners of public Accompts, and said to be repaid, was not, as he remembers, repaid to his Lordship, nor doth his Lordship know of any Account of it, nor of any Warrant for the Disposal of this particular Sum since, the Repayment of it, to any Person whatsoever.
Jurat. 3 Mar. 1711-12.
'On a View of the whole Case thus stated, your Commissioners humbly offer the following Observations:
'That it is plain by the two Letters from the Lords of the Treasury in Scotland, that this Sum of 20,000 l. was not advanced to them by way of secret Service, or as a Gift, but as a Loan on Promise of Repayment, and Receipts were accordingly given for it by their Agent here, but your Commissioners are at a Loss to explain some Expressions in these Letters, viz. That Opposers to the Union would make some Noise if her Majesty's Letter was read in the Treasury, that they had been obliged to give Promises to several Persons, and, without the Sum desired, they would be disappointed, which might prove of bad Consequence, that they would not have it known, that her Majesty lends any Money, &c.
'Nor will we presume to guess at the Reasons of these Insinuations, but humbly conceive, that, if the Money had been fairly applied to the pretended Purposes, there could have been no just Occasion for so much Caution and Jealousy.
'But, whatever Inducements the Lords of the Treasury in Scotland, might have for transacting this Affair in so secret a Manner, we are of Opinion that the Persons employed here by her Majesty ought not to have parted with the Money, till her Majesty's Letter had been read in the Treasury of Scotland, and till a proper Security had passed there for it.
'Whereas, it was paid on the Receipt of a private Agent, and at the Request of private Persons, for so we must take leave to call the noble Lords who signed these two Letters to the Earl of Godolphin, because they could not sign them as Lords of the Treasury, for, the Earl of Marr was never in this Commission, and the Earl of Loudon had for some time been removed from it.
'However, since the Loan was made (as appears by the Depositions on all hands) it is to be considered, whether the Money was ever repaid; and this cannot be so well understood, as by comparing the Evidence of the two noble Lords.
'First then, the Earl of Glasgow deposes in positive and express Terms, That 12,325 l. was paid back to the Earl of Godolphin; and, in a Letter to your Commissioners, he affirms, that he had already accompted with the Earl of Godolphin for the Money remitted, from the first of May 1706, to the first of May 1707, from England to Scotland; which Evidence, must be allowed, would at least have been sufficient to charge the Earl of Godolphin, with the Article of 12,325 l. had it not (in some Measure) been contradicted by the Earl of Godolphin's first Deposition, wherein, his Lordship is so far from charging himself with the Receipt of that particular Sum, or with passing any Accompt with the Earl of Glasgow for the Whole, that he could not recollect, that any Part of it was repaid; but says, that he understood, it was to be employed for her Majesty's secret Service in Scotland, nor is this Variation reconciled in your Commissioners humble Opinion, either by his Lordship's Letter or subsequent Deposition.
'For tho' his Lordship recollects himself in his Letter, and says, that he believes 12,000 l. or thereabouts was repaid to the Queen by her Majesty's Servants in Scotland, and, to the best of his Remembrance, they prevailed with her Majesty not to require the Remainder of the 20,000 l. and that when he said, he understood the Money was for secret Service in Scotland, he meant, that he thought so, but was not certain of it; yet that does, in no sort, confirm or concur with the Evidence of the Earl of Glasgow; but this Letter being sent only on a doubtful Recollection, and the Facts contain'd in it being offered with so much Uncertainty, your Commissioners forbear to make any Conclusions from it.
'But the last Deposition seems to return to the first Contradiction of the Earl of Glasgow's Evidence, for, notwithstanding his Lordship does there admit the Repayment of the 12,000 l. or thereabouts, as mentioned in his Letter, he denies it was repaid, as he remembers, to himself, and deposes, that he doth not know of any Accompt of it, nor of a Warrant for the Disposal of it, since the Repayment to any Persons whatsoever; which is absolutely inconsistent with what the Earl of Glasgow mentions in his Letter concerning his passing an Accompt for this Money; besides the Repayment is supposed by the Earl of Godolphin to be made to the Queen, whereas the Earl of Glasgow (as it hath been said) charges it positively upon the Earl of Godolphin himself.
'How far these Depositions and Letters are capable of being explained into a Consistency with each other, your Commissioners must leave to the Wisdom and Determination of the House; but 'tis obvious, that there is no where any Pretence of a Repayment of the 7675 l. Remainder of the 20,000 l. nor any satisfactory Accompt given of the 12,325 l. since repaid.
'So that no Part of the Money appearing to have been applied to her Majesty's Service, your Commissioners are humbly of Opinion, that the whole remains to be accounted for to her Majesty.
'As to the Revenue of Scotland, your Commissioners doubt not but the House will be pleased to consider, that they must necessarily have met with many Difficulties to their Enquiries into the Mismanagement of it, by reason of the Remoteness of the Place, where all the Offices and Records relating to the public Money, are kept; from whence, not only Discoveries and Informations, but Witnesses, to prove and make good the same, must be brought; and this would have been attended with so much Trouble and Expence, that some Examinations have been rendered impracticable, which in another Year may be prosecuted with better Effect.
'Your Commissioners therefore humbly hope, that some general Observations on the present State of the Scots Revenues will answer what is now expected from them with relation to that Kingdom.
'By the State of the Crown-Rents, exhibited to your Commissioners from the Barons of the Exchequer, it appears, that they are so burdened with Grants within these few Years, and the exorbitant Salaries of the several Collectors and Stewards, that the greatest, and by much the best, Part of them is exhausted; besides, 'tis worthy Observation, that, of the little which still remains to the Crown, very considerable Arrears are suffered to continue in the Vassals hands.
'The Revenues of the Bishops (which, after the Subversion of Episcopacy, were annext to the Crown) are in a worse State than the other Crown-Rents.
'For there are few signed and authentic Rentals of the Revenues of the said Bishoprics to be found in the Exchequer; and such as are, do differ in so many Particulars from the Charge the several Collectors do bring upon themselves, that there appears no certain Rule for making a Charge upon the said Collectors, not to ascertain the yearly Produce of that Revenue.
'There can be no Controll upon many Articles in the Discharge of the Collectors Accompts; such as Grants to several Laymen, Universities and Presbyterian Seminaries, and Allocations by virtue of the Lords of Sessions Decrees, for the Augmentation of Ministers Stipends and Schoolmasters Salaries; because the Grants and Rights of the several Grantees are not duly entered in the Records of the Exchequer, and the Collectors cannot prevent their Payment till these Grants and Rights are recorded, and the Validity thereof considered: Many of these Grantees have entered into Possession, and raise the Rents themselves, or refuse to pay their Tithes.
'Under these Difficulties it was impossible for your Commissioners, at this time, to state a certain Account of the yearly Produce of these Revenues, or how and on what account they are burdened.
'But, by the best Estimate we can make, after deducting the Grants and Allocations claimed and retained by the several Grantees, the public Taxes and other Allowances craved by the Collectors, the whole Revenue of all the Bishoprics at a Medium for several Years (part of the Rents being paid in kind, and causing the yearly Produce to vary) amounts to no more annually to the Queen, than 600 l. or thereabouts, exclusive of the Revenue of the Deanry of the Chapel-Royal, which is about 239 l. and enjoyed by Mr. William Carstaires: From which 600 l. above 500 l. per Annum hath, for these several Years past, been deducted for the Salaries of two Persons employed to collect the same.
'We have enquired into the Management of the Money given by England as an Equivalent to Scotland, for such part of the Scots Custom and Excise, as was applicable, by the Article of the Union, to the Payment of the English Debts contracted before the Union.
'And we do observe, that the first Commission, dated the fifth of June, 1707, appointing Commissioners of the Equivalent, consisted of twenty five Persons, whereof sixteen were Members of the House of Commons, and lasted for two Years; that, the House of Commons having addressed the Queen to reduce the Number of those Commissioners, because, the greatest Part of the Equivalent-Money was issued, a new Commission was appointed, dated the 26th of July 1709, consisting of fifteen Persons, which still continues.
'That each Commissioner being allowed a yearly Salary of 300 l. the Salaries of the first Commissioners amounted to 7500 l. per Annum, and the second to 4500 l. per Annum, the whole in four Years time being 24,000 l.
'From whence it appears, that a great Part of the Money that was designed for paying the public Debts of Scotland, has been expended, as your Commissioners conceive, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of the Articles of the Union, and the subsequent Acts of Parliament relating to this Money.
'For your Commissioners are of Opinion, that the receiving and distributing of the Equivalent Money, was not a Work of so intricate a Nature, nor attended with such Difficulties and Labour, but that it might have been sufficiently performed by a much less Number of Commissioners than were appointed in either of the Commissions, and thereby a large Sum of Money saved and applied for Payment of the public Debts, many of which remain still unsatisfied.
'By the 15th Article of the Union, it was agreed, that the yearly Sum of 2000 l. should be paid for the space of seven Years out of the Equivalent Money, for encouraging of the Manufactories of coarse Wool, the first 2000 l. to be paid at Martinmass, 1707, and the like Sum at each Martinmass during the said seven Years.
'By the 16th Act of the last Scots Parliament, entitled, An Act concerning the public Debts, 'tis provided, that the said Sum of 2000 l. per Annum shall be paid previous to the Public Debts.
'By both the aforesaid Commissions, the Commissioners are required to apply the Equivalent Money in the Terms, and after the Manner and the Uses prescribed by the aforesaid Articles of the Union and Acts of Parliament.
'Nevertheless, in the State of the Cash of the Equivalent exhibited to us by the Commissioners, they charge themselves with 14000 l. appointed by the coarse Wool; but in the Discharge, it does not appear, that any Sum has been applied or reserved for that Purpose, the whole Sum of 398,085 l. 10 s. being issued and expended for other Uses.
'And we can't but take Notice, that tho' they charge themselves with the said 398,085 l. 10 s. specifying the particular Uses to which every Part thereof was appropriated; yet in the Discharge of the said Account, instead of applying the said Sum to the aforesaid appropriated Uses, they state 1,340 l. 5 s. 5 d. as the Salaries of 21 Commissioners, from the 5th of June, 1707, to the 25th of July, 1709, being two Years and 51 Days, and 9000 l. as two Years Salary of the 15 present Commissioners, from the 25th of July, 1709, to the 26th of July, 1711, amounting in the whole to 22,480 l. 5 s. 5 d. of which they have received in Money the Sum of 19,698 l. 18 s. 10 d. ½. and they state the remaining 2,781 l. 6 s. 6 d. ½. as a Ballance to them.
'By the Act of the 6th of the Queen, entitled, An Act for the further Payment of the Equivalent, each Commissioner of the Equivalent is allowed a yearly Salary of 300 l. but it is expresly provided, that the same shall be paid out of any Sum of Money other than the Sum of 398,085 l. 10 s. the first Equivalent Money that have, or shall become due to Scotland by way of Equivalent.
'From which we humbly conceive, the Commissioners have no Right to demand and state the said Sum of 22,480 l. 5 s. 5 d. out of the said Sum of 398,085 l. 10s. paid to them.
'The Commissioners by the State of the Cash have overpaid the Sum of 2,781 l. 6 s. 6d.½ whereas we humbly conceive, that, if they be compelled to account in the Terms of the Articles of the Union, Acts of Parliament, and their own Commission, there doth remain in their Hands the Sum of 19,698 l. 18 s. 10 d. ½. detained by them for the Payment of their Salaries, and for which they are accountable.
'The Customs of Scotland before the Union, were let in Lease by the Lords of the Treasury there, and your Commissioners, having reason to believe, that the Farmers thereof were guilty of many illegal Practices highly prejudicial to Trade, and her Majesty's Revenue arising from the Customs, before and since the Union, have made some Enquiries into that Affair. But the same being a matter of great Consequence, very intricate, and attended with many Difficulties, your Commissioners beg leave to postpone a particular Report thereof, till they shall be better prepared to set it in a true Light.
'Your Commissioners being informed, that the Commissioners appointed by an Act of the sixth Year of her Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for paying the Debentures of Fish and Flesh, cured with foreign Salt imported before the Union, and ascertaining the Price of foreign Salt remaining in Scotland, had not applied all the Money given by the said Act to the Uses therein mentioned, and particularly, that they had made several Deductions from the said Debentures, and Price of Salt allowed by Law, did require the said Commissioners to exhibit a State of their Accompts; in which it did not appear, that they had made any Deductions whatsoever; the full Value of the Debentures, and Price of the Salt delivered over to the Queen's Use, being stated in their Discharge.
'But having examined on Oath Mr. Gilbert Stewart, one of the said Commissioners, he deposed, the Sum of 2,780 l. 8 s. 1 d. was proportionably deducted from the said Debentures and Price of Salt, on account of Charges in obtaining of the Act of Parliament, for paying the said Debentures and Salt. That this was done by the Consent of almost all the Proprietors, who by a Deed under their Hands did appoint a Committee of their own Number, to state and allow such Deductions on this Accompt as they should think reasonable. Which Committee did agree to the said Sum of 2,780 l. 1 s. 1 d. and directed the Payment thereof in the manner, and to the Persons mentioned in an Act signed by them, and exhibited on Oath to your Commissioners by the said Mr. Gilbert Stewart.
'By an Article in this Accompt the Sum of 195 l. is stated as paid to William Cockran Esq; on the account of his Charges in obtaining the Act of Parliament for paying the said Debentures and Salt.
'And the said Mr. Stewart did on Oath acquaint the Commissioners, that Mr. Cockran was concerned in Trade with the said Stewart and others, who gave a Commission to Mr. Cockran to go to London, and dispose of a Quantity of Goods they had sent thither, and did promise to pay him what Charges and Expences he should be at on that Account. That afterwards, when Mr. Cockran returned from London, he charged and claimed in his Accompt, 300 l. as his Expences, which Mr. Stewart and his Partners allowed him with this Proviso, that he should pay to them whatever Sum should be given as a Gratuity from the Proprietors of the Salt and Debentures, on account of his Services in obtaining the said Act. That accordingly, when the said 195 l. allotted to Mr. Cocktan was paid, he gave his Receipt for it: But the said Stewart retained the Money, and afterwards divided it betwixt himself and Partners in Trade, conformable to the above-mentioned Agreement with Mr. Cockran.
'Your Commissioners having humbly given their Thoughts on our Mismanagement in the public Revenues of Scotland, will now proceed to such Observations as have occurred to them in pursuing the Accompts of that of England.
'First, we have endeavoured to examine into the Reason how so large Sums of public Money remain still unaccounted for by the Persons entrusted with it; and we conceive this proceeds from the Neglect of those in issuing Process. For in some Cases, Process hath never been issued; in others, where it hath been issued, the Returns were generally Nichils, or of very small Issues, even where the Accomptants were possessed of considerable Estates in Land, and other valuable Effects.
'And there hath not been only a Neglect of issuing Process against Accomptants, but Warrants have been often granted from the Treasury, to stop the Execution thereof when issued. Where Accompts have been many Years depending, and where there was Reason to suspect the Circumstances of the Accomptants, which, grounded upon better Pretences than any yet appear to your Commissioners, must be an Imputation of Mismanagement.
'Some Attempts have been made of late towards curing this Evil, for a Capias ad Computandum, which is the most essential Process of the Exchequer, and which hath for many Years been disused, is now revived, and an Office appointed to issue it against the Persons of the Accomptants, where a Distringas is not sufficient. This hath been done with so good Effect, that Accompts of Money, impressed many Years past, have been lately delivered to the Auditors.
'Many Instances of what is here inserted, have appeared to your Commissioners, in Certificates delivered on Oath by the proper Officers, some of which we humbly lay before you, &c.
'But as the Neglect of passing Accompts, according to the Rules and Methods of the Exchequer, has been a great Detriment and Loss to the Public, so it has been a great Prejudice, that many Accompts have been passed by Privy Seals, and in an extraordinary and irregular Manner. For, on perusing and examining some of them, we find that they have not been desired so much to supply the Want of Form, (the only colourable Pretence for allowing them) as to justify unreasonable and extravagant Payments, such as are directly contrary to the Rules of the Navy; not warranted by the Establishments of the Army, nor grounded on any Treaties or Conventions with foreign Princes.
'In the Privy Seals granted or craved, and for which Warrants are obtained by the Pay-Master of the Army, several Articles are included, which, as far as we are capable of judging, ought not to have been allowed.
'As in particular for secret Service, which had no relation to the Army.
'For paying the foreign Forces in British Pay, according to the Establishment, without Muster Rolls; which your Commissioners are of Opinion was one great Reason that no Care was taken to keep the Corps compleat.
'For allowing Contingencies and Extraordinaries according to the Dutch Secretaries Certificates, without farther Vouchers.
'For Payment to the Electors of Treves and Cologn, not referring to, or grounded on any Treaty.
'In a Privy Seal for passing the Accompts of Paul Methuen Esq; Son of John Methuen Esq; we find the following extraordinary Payments allowed.
'1. The Charge of embarking one, and disembarking another Dutch Regiment.
'2. Three (fn. 1) thousand Mill-Reis on a Bill drawn by the Prince of Hesse on Mons. Schonenburgh, the Dutch Plenipotentiary; which being refused by him, was paid, as is set forth in the Privy-Seal, by the said Mr. Methuen, for the Honour of that Prince, and there declared it ought to be repaid by the States-General.
'3. One thousand eight hundred fifty four Mill-Reis expended in Presents given to the Emperor of Morocco, and in maintaining his Ambassador.
'4. Thirty five thousand five hundred ninety five MillReis for the subsisting, cloathing, and arming of Spaniards. For the Payment of which, we do not find he had any Authority but the King of Spain's Order.
'5. One thousand one hundred and twenty five Mill-Reis for Freight of the King of Spain's Coaches and Horses, and Powder presented to him by the King of Portugal.
'In the Accompt delivered to us by Mr. Methuin, he charges 7,635 Mill-Reis, as paid on Accompt of the Spaniards before mentioned, which was not included in the PrivySeal, and owns, that for several Articles allowed in that Privy-Seal, no Vouchers could be produced.
'There are great Sums due on Bonds for her Majesty's Customs, which has occasioned a considerable Loss to the Government; the Merchants from whom they were taken, being many of them, with their Securities, become insolvent. This Loss we apprehend, might, in some Measure, have been prevented, had the Bonds been put in Suit, as they ought to have been, immediately after they became due, and not continued so long in the Remembrancer's Hands without Prosecution; or had Care been taken not to have suffered the Merchants to have engaged into new Bonds, before they had discharged the Principal and Interest on their former Bonds, according to the Instructions of the Commissioners of Customs to their Officers.
'By these Compositions, the Public has lost 112,499 l. 17s. 7 d. ½. supposing the whole Sum compounded for was paid into the Exchequer, but as there has been only 22,227 l. 9 d.¾ paid, the Loss to the Public on this Head, may be computed at 117,950 l. 3 s. 11 d. ¾.
'Of the Money issued for the Transport Service, there has been paid 121,125 l. 17 s. 6 d. 2q. to Mr. Atkinson and Mr Roop, who, from 6 Feb. 170 l, to 23d June, 1704, transacted the whole Business of this Office, on the Examination of whose Accompts, we humbly offer the following Observations.
'That notwithstanding they are entrusted with the Disposition of so large Sums, no Security was ever taken or demanded, either for the faithful Discharge of their Trust, or the due answering the Sums issued to them.
'That they never received any Instructions, by which they should guide themselves in the Execution of their Office, but being left at Liberty to make their Payments in what manner they pleased, they neither numbered their Bills, nor paid them in Course, according to the Method of the NavyOffice, and as they have been of late obliged to do.
'That they being no otherwise constituted than by a Minute of the Treasury, and being themselves Cashiers of the Money appointed for that Service, we humbly conceive they were not vested with sufficient Authority to make any Payments, or warrant their Proceedings in the Management that Affair. In which Opinion we are confirmed by the Pate bearing Date the 15th of August, 1710, which we observe not only appointed them to act as Commissioners of Transports for the future, but has a Retrospect to their Proceedings before in the Performance of that Service, which are therein confirmed and made valid.
'That on the 22d of June, 1704, when Mr. Nutin was appointed Treasurer of the Transports, there was a Ballance in their Hands of the Sum of 6,386 l. 1 s. 5 d. 1 q. out of which they have paid to several Persons 3,483 l: 6 s. 10 d. but kept the Remainder till the 7th of December, 1710. at which time they paid to Mr. Micklewaite, the present Treasurer, 2,429 l. and 4 d. 1 q. and still retain 473 l. 14 s. 2 d. 2 q. on Pretence of defraying the Charge of passing their Accompts. In Excuse of their so long detaining the Sum lately paid to Mr. Micklewaite, they alledge, that they knew Mr. Nutin and Mr. Mason, to be Men of such Circumstances and Characters, as could not safely be entrusted with public Money.
'We have nothing farther to observe on the Accompts of Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Roop, but that they discharge themselves by Payments on Bills and otherwise, of the Sum of 120,652 l. 3 s. 4 d. whereof they have paid on Imprests 11,523 l. 1 s. 6 d. and that for these Payments, they have laid some Accompts before the Auditors, but have passed as yet an Accompt for one Year only, notwithstanding it is now more than seven Years since any Money has been issued to them.
'Mr. Nutin was appointed Treasurer of the Transports, on the 22d of June, 1704, and though he received, whilst in that Employment, 108,118 l. 16s. 10d. 2q. he gave a Security of 2000 l. only; he continued in this Office till January, 1-05, about which time he was dismissed for embezzling the public Money. Mr. Nutin is not to be found, being, by Order of the late Lord Treasurer, discharged out of Prison; so that we can say nothing farther in Relation to his Accompts, except that those for one Year have been laid before the Auditors, but have not been prosecuted: Mr. Nutin having misapplied the public Money, and it being thought necessary to put that Office under a better Regulation, the late Lord Treasurer ordered that, for the future, the Money, issued for that service, should be brought by the Treasurer into the Office, to be locked up there, who should also transmit weekly Certificates to the Treasury, signed by himself, and one of the Commissioners at least.
'Notwithstanding these Orders, and the Complaints of the Commissioners to the late Lord Treasurer, and his repeated Directions that they should be observed, Mr. Mason, who succeeded Mr. Nutin, on the 18th of January, 1705, neglected for some time to give any Account of the Money received, and brought none of it into the Office to be locked up, 'till the 18th of January, 1706, and during the whole time of his Continuance in that Office kept some of the public Money in his Hands. In particular, he received at the Exchequer, on the 7th of November, 1707, 35,778 l. 18s 9d. and kept the whole Sum in his Hands 'till the first of December following, at which time he brought into the Office, 30,000 l. in Specie, and a Bank Receipt for several Notes of one Newell, amounting to 5403 l. 10s. which was afterwards returned to Mr. Mason, Newell failing before the Bank received the Money. This was represented to the Treasury by the Commissioners, in a Letter on the 9th of December, 1707, notwithstanding which, Mr. Mason was continued in his Office till the 14th of April following, and considerable Sums were issued to him. He is accountable for 262,813 l. 19s. 7d. of which he discharges himself by Payments of the Sum of 256,927 l. 5s. 5d. Wherefore he has paid on Imprests, 23,668 l. 17s. 9d. He has had some Accompts before the Auditors, but none of them are yet passed.
'Mr. Mason was succeeded by Mr. Micklewaite, on the 19th of April, 1708, between which time and the 24th of June, 1711, we find there has been issued to him from the Exchequer, 476,341 l. 6s. 11 d. 3 q. and he voluntarily chargeth himself with the Sum of 4010 l. 7s. 2d. 1 q. Mr. Micklewaite has laid his Accompts before the Auditors, to Michaelmas, 1710, which are ready for a Declaration.
'We will conclude our Remarks on the Management of this Part of the Service, with observing that though the Commissioners have given Certificates to the Pay-Master of the Forces of the Number of Men shipped, that a Deduction might be made for the Victuals furnished in their Passage to Flanders, and that there ought to have been deducted out of the Pay of the Soldiers, more than 1300 l. on that Accompt. as was represented to the House last Sessions, yet no part thereof has been paid over to that Office.
'Though your Commissioners are not yet possessed of all the Accompts of the Navy, they think it their Duty to represent some Articles of Payments in the Accompts laid before them by Mr. Walpole, late Treasurer of the Navy, which being made at a Time when that Service was clogged with great Debts, seems very extraordinary, and such as they apprehend inconsistent with the Rules of the Navy.
'The first Instance is, a Payment of 2000 l. by Mr. Walpole, to the Earl of Orford, out of Money properly applicable to the Use of the Navy, by Virtue of a Warrant from her Majesty, bearing Date the 13th of July, 1710, which was given to the said Earl as her Majesty's Royal Bounty.
'The other Instance is of two Payments, amounting to 1452 l. 14s. 8d. made also by Mr. Walpole, to Henry Priestman Esq; pursuant to a Warrant from her Majesty, dated July 7, 1710, which directs that 10,000 l. per Annum should be paid during her Pleasure, out of such Money as then was, or should be in Mr. Walpole's Hands, for the Service of the Navy, both which are countersigned, Godolphin.
'How prejudicial the Allowance of these Articles may be to the Public, we presume not to affirm, but must acquaint you, that the Commissioners of the Navy, whose Duty it is to inspect and sign the Treasurer's Accompt, say, that they never knew any such Warrants heretofore, and that regularly all Warrants should come from the Lords of the Treasury, or Lords of the Admiralty to them. We therefore humbly submit it to the House, whether these Warrants ought to have been answered by the Treasurer of the Navy, though countersigned by the Lord Treasurer?
'We find an Addition to the Establishment of the Navy of four senior Captains, appointed to act as Commanders in Chief at Chatham, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Harwich, in the Absence of Flag-Officers, by the Name of Super-Intendants. This new Office your Commissioners observe was erected at a Time when some irregular Promotions had been made in the Fleet, and hath occasioned an Increase of Charge, without any Advantage to the Service, viz.
|In the 1709||4053||03||04|
|In the Year 1710||3954||15||00|
|And in the Year 1711||4019||15||07|
'Here your Commissioners think it not improper to mention a Debt of 115,014 l. 10s. 2d. 2q. which appears to them by the Return made from the Navy-Board, to have been many Years due to England, from the States General, for Stores lent—We also find by the same Return, that an Account of this Debt has been long since presented by the Commissioners of the Navy, to the Lords of the Admiralty, but without Effect.
'All which is humbly submitted to the Consideration of the House.'
Resolutions relating to the Supply.
The 4th, the House, in a grand Committee on the Supply had resolv'd to present three Addresses to her Majesty, 'First, That she would be pleas'd to direct, that an Account be laid before the House of the Debts of the Navy, Victualling, Transports and Ordnance Offices, from Christmas, 1710, to Lady day-1711; for which, Certificates or Debentures were to be made out, in pursuance of the Act passed the last Session of Parliament, for making good Deficiencies, and satisfying public Debts. Secondly, an Account of the one Million, five hundred thousand Pounds, granted the last Session of Parliament, for the Service of the War in Spain and Portugal. And in the third place, an Estimate of the Charge of the Navy, Ordnance, Victualling, and for Transport-Service, for the Year 1711.'
The same Day Mr. Secretary St. John delivered to the House the following Message, sign'd by her Majesty, viz.
The Queen's Message about the English Episcopal Church at Rotterdam.
'It having been certified to her Majesty, by the Earl of Strafford, her Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the States-General of the United Provinces, That the Collection for building a Church at Rotterdam, wherein divine Service is celebrated after the Usage of the Church of England, for the Benefit of the Queen's Subjects in that Place, are not sufficient to compleat the Charge of that Work, by about 2500 l. her Majesty thinks fit earnestly to recommend to the House, the making a Provision for the same'.
Address of the Commons thereupon.
Hereupon it was resolv'd, 'That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, to return her Majesty the most humble Thanks of this House, for her most gracious Message, wherein she has express'd her Concern for the building a Church at Rotterdam, for the celebrating divine Service there, according to the Usage of the Church of England, and to assure her Majesty, that this House will enable her Majesty to compleat the Charge of the same.'
Papers relating to the Trade to Africa. ; Resolutions on the Supply.
All these Addresses were laid before the Queen, by Mr. Secretary St. John, with which he acquainted the House on the 18th, and informed them, at the same time, that, pursuant to their Address of the last Session, her Majesty had given Directions for taking care of the Settlements in Africa, for the Preservation of the Trade thither, which she hoped would be preserved accordingly, and that her Majesty had been pleased to direct the State of that Trade to be laid before her, which had been done by the Commissioners of Trade; and that he was commanded by her Majesty to lay before the House a Representation and several Papers relating thereto which he presented to the House, who referr'd them to the Consideration of the grand Committee, who were to consider further of the Trade to Africa. The same day, the Commons, in a Committee of the whole House upon the Supply, resolved to grant, First, the Sum of 2500 l. to complete, the Charge of building a Church at Rotterdam: Secondly, 468,830 l. 15s. 10 d. for the Pay of the Horse, Foot and Dragoons in Great-Britain, and of the nine Independent Companies. Thirdly, 14,410 l. 18 s. 7 d. for the Pay of the General Officers, for the Guards and Garrisons in Great Britain Fourthly, 15,734 l. for the Pay of the Contingencies for the Guards and Garrisons in Great-Britain; and Fifthly, 32,752 l. for the Pay of the said Garrisons. These Resolutions being the next day reported, the three first were agreed to by the House, but instead of 13,734 l. only 7500 l. were granted for Contingencies; and instead of 32,752 l. only 23,400 l. for the Garrisons in Great-Britain.