Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Wednesday, the first of December, 1652.
COLONEL Morley reports from the Council of State, Translates of Seven several Letters from Jacomo Staneir, of the 19th of November, sent to several Persons at Antwerp, and one Letter of Peter Vandeputt: Which were now read.
And being come to the Bar, Mr. Speaker, by Command of the House, acquainted him, That there had been presented to the Parliament, Translates of several Letters written by him, and which were confessed by himself, at the Council of State, that they were his, in which were Words to this Purpose: "We have made a great many Friends, amongst the Great Ones, to speak for us in the Business, when it comes before them;" meaning the Business of the Prizes: And Mr. Speaker required him to declare what he meant by those Great Ones: The said Jacomo Staneir answered, "Those Letters I then wrote, I wrote in haste, and haply some Words might slip from my Pen; but, God is my Record, my Intentions were fair: I wrote to my Correspondents, to ingratiate myself with them; but I never spake with any Great Ones, but the Spanish Ambassador, and his Secretary, and our Council at the Admiralty."
Mr Speaker further pressed him to declare plainly, who those Great Ones were that he meant in those Letters; and who those were of the Council of State, that he saith, in one Letter, he had Discourse with.
He gave this Answer; "God Almighty knows, I meant no more than the Lord Ambassador, and his Secretary; and that he never had any Discourse with any of the Parliament, or Council of State; but wrote those Words only because he observed, that such Words did please his Friends there."
Mr. Speaker told him, there was a Passage in one of the Letters, "That he must have care what he did write; for fear his Letters were opened:" And required to declare what he meant by it, and what it was he durst not write, for fear his Letter should be opened: He saith, It was his Weakness and Ignorance to write so; but that he knew the Interest of his Friends was so much in those Ships, that he desired to please them; and wrote those Words only, that they might see he was not negligent in their Business.
Ordered, That it be committed to the Members of the House, that are of the Council of State, to examine, and report to the House: And that they do meet this Afternoon, at Two of the Clock, in the Council-Chamber, at Whitehall.
State of the Army, &c.
Ordered, That the Business appointed for this Day, touching the State of the Army in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the Bill for the Assessment, be taken into Consideration the first Business To-morrow Morning; nothing to intervene.