Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 3. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Wednesday, November 10.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The Lords have given us no reasons why they join not with us in this Address. 'Tis but actum agere, to do the same thing again by Proclamation—As we had not the libetty to tell our opinion, believes it invalidates the Act, and will only produce a Proclamation, which may be much more effectual than this. But would reserve that claim to the House, that we are not altogether without power of giving our opinion of things.
Sir John Duncombe.] The Lords have been cautious. What they have said does not forestall your Bill—Would agree with the Lords in another Proclamation, rather than search too much into this. Would avoid all occasion of dispute with the Lords, and have two or three days time to consider of this.
Mr Powle.] Would avoid all occasion of quarrelling with the Lords. But he thinks, if you agree, you will invalidate your Act. Why would you not stay to see the effect of this, till you have passed your Bill? Would have it put off till Tuesday, and prepare the Bill by that time, which is still but an Address.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It is for all concerns that justice be free. He finds in a Gazette, 1674, published to the world, "Two Justices of the Peace, who, by Act of Parliament, are to hear and determine differences arising between the Excisemen and the Ale-Brewer, about the quantum of money, to terrify their proceedings, as a warning-piece to others, to deter all neighbours how they do justice again;" and farther, that the King declares the Law at the Council-Table. If so, he knows not the use of the Statute of the 16th and 17th of the late King. If this be done at the Council-Table, the next thing will be to controul Westminster-Hall, and the Exchequer, and why not against merchants for duties, and demand of the King's Bench, why they grant Habeas Corpus's? Would apply to the King, that these mischiefs may be checked in time.
Mr Williams.] This thing has been long in his thoughts. In the Act for the Excise there is an Appeal from the particular Justices to the Sessions, and they are no farther troubled. He is a Justice, and instructions have been brought him contrary to the Act, which is to take the gauger's charge. They stopped not at these instructions—He has been cited for non-administration, that he has not proceeded according to the instructions. He and his neighbours have been troubled in it. But the law has been his refuge.
Sir John Duncombe.] The proceedings may not have that aspect they are said to have. He never yet sent for any one man in his life. In two years time, he knows, nothing occurs to him of this kind. It falls out in this business of the Excise, where, in Corporations, the Justices are the judges of the cause. There is seldom any dispute in the country, where gentlemen are the Justices. In Corporations, there is a combination of kindred, very partial to one another, and they are the sole judges, and they, in time, will overthrow the Excise itself. He knows not how that particular case came into the Gazette; but the man confessed himself in the wrong, and said he was sorry for it, and went away, and no farther proceedings were against him. Where is the hardness of all this, so seldom and rarely done? Not in two years time such another instance. He wonders how it came into the Gazette—Though the Council-board declares not law —Yet when the Council is in an extremity, by whom shall they be informed? Shall a man not know his own right? If the Judges give an opinion, that it is law, the Council goes by it. He will not say, that Williams is in the wrong, but is sure the Council is in the right, when the King advises with the Judges, and his Judges—And is sure 'tis such as they will answer. He thinks not theirs the least failing in the King. If you knew but the circumstances, they would reveal it—And he has endeavoured to do his master right, and the people no wrong, from the bottom of his heart.
Sir Thomas Meres.] He believes that the King had advice in doing this; but our complaint is of that advice. He thinks that the instructions sent into the country are not law, and he obeyed them not, and was not sent for up. This is no new Question; it has been debated in his town eight or nine years. The short of the Question is, whether the gauger's charge shall stand good to all quantity of liquors. Show that in the Act of Parliament, and he has done. The Act is plain in the directions of judgments, and Appeals to the Sessions. Proceeding by these instructions, the poor Ale-brewer calls the Exciseman forsworn wretch; and that's all his remedy. The Justices are brought to the Council, as if it were before the Judges, or the Exchequer-chamber. 'Tis of general concern, and would take away a great deal of heart-burning, if these instructions were taken away, that the gauger's charge should not stand good. We had a clause here, and the Lords sent one to this purpose, and 'twas reported. If it be not Law, he knows not what power the Privy Council have to declare it so
Mr Sawyer.] You have not yet examined this thing thoroughly. To say, generally, that the King cannot send for Justices of the Peace to the Council-Table, on male-administration, no gentleman will say so—If the cause be dismissed, the King and Council have done him right. 'Tis not ripe at all to say it is a grievance, till it be farther examined, as whether according to the opinion of all the Judges. A charge the gauger is, but not such a one as to judge the parties by; 'tis only to put proof on the parties on the other side. Therefore to address the King for remedy for we know not what, is strange.
Mr Williams.] Moves to have it ordered to be referred to the Committee, to enquire by what Counsel this was done. This power of the Justices of the Peace has its creation from the Act, a negative part of it, and a positive, excluding all other ways—If for turning the Justice of Peace out for misdemeanor, the Council has done it. But the Act is not pursued in punishing and reproaching men for not pursuing the instructions.
Mr Sacheverell.] Speaks not upon the circumstances, but that the Council should persuade the King to over-rule a judicial power, which, by Act of Parliament, has been given to the Judges—And when the King takes upon him the exposition of the law, against law itself, he must call that an arbitrary power, when against the letter of the law, and the opinion of the Judges. Twelve witnesses were examined in this matter, whether it was beer or ale, and all agreed 'twas barely beer, and not ale; and the Justices, parties unconcerned, gave judgment for beer. The gaugers, by this way, are parties and judges in their own case. The Act says, 32 ale, and 36 beer— The Justices are sent for up to the Council, and the King was pleased to give judgment, that the gauger's charge was a sufficient judgment—Persuaded to have the King's pardon—On this single charge of the gauger's, they all paid it. He therefore seconds the motion for an Address to the King about it.
Mr Waller.] Has heard somewhat of Sir William Wentworth's argument from him before. You are told of the rebellion in the Long Parliament. Would let all people know, that, if they have eaten sour grapes, our teeth are not set on edge, and we have not forfeited our rights for their ills. In the row of our Kings, there are as few ill as in any kingdom. King John was a tyrant, and killed his nephew, [Prince Arthur] and had a design to bring in foreigners. Shall we give the King less loyalty, because he hath had an ill predecessor? We have the same power as before the Act of Oblivion passed, for particular men; and shall we not have the benefit of it ourselves? As to that particular, said to be done by the King's Counsel at law, they are not the surest Council. They are, as good advocates for the King, but not as Judges; but they are his Counsel, and have been asked, as it may be again. Before Mr Hampden's case, the King consulted the Judges; and he thinks 'tis part of their oath, to give the King true counsel 'Tis said, that the Judges counsel was, that ship-money was lawful; a Judge, a friend of his, said, such counsel was given; and 'tis said by all the Judges, who have a fashion, that the judgment of the major part is subscribed by all of them, not saying whose advice it is in particular. 'Tis the natural way for the King to consult his Counsel at Law; if he has done so, then the Council-Table may be excused. The Judges have judged wrong, and formerly it was our way to complain of the Judges; and the Lords were advised with, as in the case of Ship-money. If the King's judgment be by the advice of the Judges, we are not then to go to the King for redress, but to the Lords, —If not, then to go to the King.
Mr Streete.] Knows not what end their judgment may have, if not traversable—He must say, they do practise such a judgment, and that now for the gaugers; but he takes the Law to be otherwise. You'll have delay in an Address to the Lords about it. But would have the opinion of the House, by declaration, that it is against Law.
Sir William Coventry.] Proposes, that we should declare the Law in this matter, and go to the Lords for their concurrence. He easily imagines the success of that. The Lords will tell us, we meddle with what belongs not to us. He is against ravelling into the matter, as who was the author of these instructions. But hears a complaint, that judgment is given where the Law has not lodged it—In the gauger; and it was never intended that none should judge over him. When there is a Question in doubt, the gaugers can find better Counsel, to open the eyes of the Judges, than the poor brewers. The Judges, if not supplied otherwise with better information, make their judgments, as either party can make their case out. When it is a grievance to the subject, 'tis our part to remove it. This is excluded by law from the Council-Table, to declare law, and would have it represented to the King, that no new instructions may be super-induced upon the Justices of the Peace, but that they may be left to judge according to law.
Col. Birch.] Must needs say, that the honourable persons concerned in this matter, wherever they could, have compounded these complaints, if possible. He believes, that, by the countenance of these instructions, the gauger leaves no return; and if the brewers enter one gallon less, they take them on the forfeiture. The gauger will do it, as soon as it is brewed, and will then say, it is ale, whilst the strength is in it. 'Tis said, that the King may send for a Justice of the Peace—But they are rather Judges, than Justices, in the matter. Wentworth would have no representation, because, in the Long Parliament, they were numberless; but if we hope, in this, to have remedy, and not the same thing again, would represent the grievances, one by one; and this is the way to it.
Mr Sawyer.] Would see these Instructions, and what the Council have done upon it; how they stand. It may be legal, or illegal, according as the matter is. The Justice may neglect his duty, and it is in the King's power to remove him, if any man upon his cognizance tells you the whole fact.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The Judges commissions are now durante bene placito, and not quam diu, &c. as formerly —He thinks this good evidence in the Gazette, and published by good authority; else the Council-Table would have corrected it before now. (Reads the advertisement in the Gazette) This is, as to the Excise and gauger, a declaring the law, and as much a judgment as they could give in it, to the intent that other men might take warning.
Sir John Duncombe.] Thinks the thing is of the first edition, and hopes it will be of the last. Things are not usually brought hither, but upon the last extremity— Would remedy this—But he fears that the consequence of this day's Debate will break the Excise in pieces. The farmers will catch at your Debates, which you intend well; and the King will suffer by it. This being but one precedent, and unadvisedly brought to the Council, he would have farther proceeding, &c. The law is good, but hears the practice of the Justices. This thing had not its steps as it ought to have; but to make a severe judgment upon it may spoil the Excise itself.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The Question is not, what the Instructions were, but that there were any. Put the case, that they go for remedy to the Exchequer; it would be strange, if from them, who are judges of the Revenue, the matter should be heard over again at the Council Table, and be judged there a wrong judgment, and the parties be forced to acknowledge their fault. He knows no kind of difference. At the first 'twas thought a light thing, but now sees it of great consequence.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Some Justices at Lincoln were sent up prisoners, and paid sixty pound fees for a matter of this nature, and were glad they got off so—(He reads the Proviso out of the Act.) "The differences, &c. to be determined in the proper county, and not elsewhere." The Excise so raises the Exciseman, and impoverishes the people at this rate, that he moves that it may be stated, and so done, and how to do it leaves it to you.
Mr Powle.] These instructions are of a dangerous nature. He has seen many instructions under the name of the Sollicitor and Attorney General, very prejudicial to the people, and contrary to law, to raise the revenue, and those printed and urged upon them.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] What is in the Gazette is not schemes for the interest of the nation. The Gazette is, in some measure, under the care of the Secretaries of State, but not wholly of their penning. The Advertisements are the clerks. He sees there is great stress laid upon it, in terms so high "as the King and Council to have declared the law." But take the thing where it is authentic. (It seems there are pains taken to have the Gazette so ready.) He joins in the motion to have the authentic pieces of the whole, and then judge of it as you think material.
Sir Edward Deering.] You have had a complaint this day against a Sheriff (fn. 1), and you summoned him before you condemned him. Sure you will have more respect to the Council Table than to the best Sheriff of England. 'Tis moved that part of your Address be, "That no instructions, declaratory of law, may be, for the future, sent from the Council Table." Instructions for execution of the law are, and ever were, entrusted to the Crown.
Resolved, That the summoning of Justices of the peace to the Council Board, for their proceedings in matters judicially before them, relating to the Excise, is a grievance, and shall be one part of the matter to be redressed in the state of the Kingdom.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] For point of carriages, as exercised by the King's Council, the law is perverted. Justices are summoned to the Council Board, and severely handled, and he is one of them. The Justices draw warrants for summoning the carriages, and if they do not send them to the high constables themselves, they are complained of. They suggest five or six, and send for twenty, and have no occasion to use them, and come fifteen miles, and they send them back again. They allow six pence a mile from St. George's Church home, not accounting from St George's to the place where they receive loading.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] He thinks that the Lord Keeper and the Secretaries of State are Justices as well as they, and would know what they did in that riot. Why may not we say, why not you brother justice? And why not you? Let them give you an account of it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The thing is, whether the Council Table is a place for Justices of peace to answer their actions at; whether law is there to be declared. He thinks that, for the riot at Westminster, an information in the King's Bench against the Justices was more proper. All this summons is but to frighten people from things they would not have done.
Sir John Duncombe.] 'Tis said, "summoning Justices of the peace in matters judicially depending before them"—If he should not open the matter, he should be failing to the House, and to himself. If a corporation shall judge, and give a wrong judgment, what shall the King do in this case, to do himself right, and the public?—Is it not a reasonable thing that when a wrong judgment is given, the Council can but enquire to be informed, and all sides are heard. Is this a grievance? You leave the King upon the hardest terms—By charge in other Courts, you will make men abandon Corporations, and ruin all trade.
Mr Sawyer.] Put the case that the King be injured by a wrong judgment of the Justices—Better a mischief than an inconvenience. The best law in the world has some mischief to particular persons. The King has the placing and displacing of the Judge, so that the Judge is in his choice. As to the Objection, that, in Corporations, where, by ancient Charter, the Mayor is a Justice in his year, and that year after also, and shall give a corrupt judgment—'Tis better such an information should be against him in Westminster Hall, where the thing would be infinitely more exemplary, than at the Council Table. If any thing in the Act, or if the Act of Excise be ill penned, what sits the Parliament for, but to mend these inconveniences?
Sir William Coventry.] Our grievance is, that which is our law goes not on as our law ought to do. The other clauses perhaps were not given in the Act of Excise, but for the sake that gentlemen should not be drawn out of their country to answer the matter, but in its proper place. He fears that these Debates may prejudice the Excise, but the fault is in the farmers, not here; had they gone on in the methods they ought without vexing the people—But whilst 'tis our law, let us enjoy it, and let not the people be drawn out of their country; and, in the mean time, would have as little noise of it as may be.
Mr Powle.] In H. IV. H. VI. and somewhere in a Statute of H. VII. the Lords of the Council have some power in case of riots. But 'tis sufficiently declared by these Statutes, that the Privy Council is no Court of Justice— Only for advice of foreign affairs, leagues, peace, and war.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] There is great complaint of the poverty of the nation. He imputes it much to the trade we have with the French nation, which out-balances us. By the scheme given in, there is a million per ann. difference, and 'tis one reason, among others, that was given, why this 300,000l. would be so hardly collected, That shortly the Kingdom would be in a condition to give no more money. He moves that another general head may be, "The neglect of a due treaty about regulating the French trade, one of the great reasons of the poverty of the nation."
Thursday, November 11.
The Bill for exportation of Wool [was read the third time (fn. 2).]
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Many times, formerly, Charters were taken away, that were against trade— Moves that this Bill may be withdrawn, and that a Committee do consider whether it is fit to bring in another Bill.
Sir Richard Temple] In Ed.III's time, this of wool was a certain trade, and a merchant must have a certain trade and host got, and then wools were transported and manufactured abroad, but the trade was inconsiderable then in the nation.
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, being asked what place he would most willingly be King of, said, "of Newcastle. Being master of that coal, he would quickly master England, by straitening London." Applied to transporting wool (fn. 3).
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Was one of the voters for appropriating this money, this supply, for building ships only. You have already given your negative for this money to be placed in the Chamber of London; he proposes therefore that it may be paid into the Exchequer, and be appropriated to the building ships, by penalties to be inflicted on the officers of the Exchequer, if the money shall be applied to any other purpose.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Shall have great confidence in the thing, when 'tis done; a good execution of fact will satisfy the thing—Howard affirmed it might be done in the Exchequer, and so did Downing. He shall have confidence when he finds the thing done, because he has been deceived, and would not be so again.
Mr Sacbeverell.] This is no new thing practised, but done in the greatest Kings reigns, E. I. H. IV. H. VII. H. VIII. The Exception made, "That it looks like distrust," is nothing. 6 H. IV. There was some occasion to raise money—Tonnage and Poundage were appropriated for uses—The way was this; they constituted two Treasurers, to whom the money was paid, for those uses. Those two, and all the Officers of the Exchequer, were accountable for it in the next Parliament; that if by any warrant, patent, or written order, by Great or Privy Seal, this money should be paid to any other use, than that it was granted for, as well those who grant them, as pay the money by virtue of them, should undergo the penalty of High Treason. After this, the Treasurers were sworn at the Lords bar, for due execution of their office—One year and a half afterwards, they accounted to the Commons, and they had a discharge from the Lords and every Commoner of England, who have an undeniable right to the same, as they pay the money to have an account of it.
Mr Waller.] Would send for the Record; the Clerk of the Parliament has it. He was here in Parliament, and saw the Treasurer account for the money given in the Palatinate War, in King James's time, in the next King's reign. He saw that Council of War here; they had chairs set them, and their hats on; they were some Scotch, some Irishmen. The thing is in minutes in the Statute, but set at large in the Record—More care must be taken in this than they did. 'Tis not strange that the Commons should be more trusted than other Courts. The King is so far from being deceived by us, in Money, that we are they that give the Money—He said privately, That the Fleet is but a lame arm to beg with.
[ Resolved, That the Supply for building the ships shall be made payable into the Exchequer, and be kept separate, and distinct, &c. That penalties shall be inflicted on all officers who shall divert, or misapply it; and] that the account for the said Supply shall be transmitted to the Commons of England in Parliament [which was agreed to by the House.]
The Speaker.] He is at the greatest loss in the world how to serve the House, when a thing is Order one day, and not another. If you'll make this clause part of the Bill, it must be debated first in the House.
Sir Thomas Meres.] 'Tis good and safe what the Speaker has said—But did not agree to go to a Grand Committee, because he was afraid the Speaker would be against it. He likes so well what the Speaker has propounded, that he would have him leave the Chair
Mr Secretary Williamson.] This Clause "of appropriation," and the rest of the Bill, on the mother's side are not a kin, though they are on the father's side— You take away out of the King's Revenue, and yet he is of opinion that what possibly can be done in the matter, may be done. Would adjourn the Debate till to morrow. But would not have a Committee sit this afternoon now upon it.
Lord Cavendish.] Williamson argues right. In one part, 'tis of a different nature. One is raising money on the land, the other on the sea. He gave his consent that money should be raised on the land, for the use of the sea, though 'tis extraordinary; therefore moves for a Clause to be referred to a Committee, "for Appropriation," in this Bill.
Col. Birch.] Is loth to show you that these two Clauses are too near a kin, for fear they should be too near to marry. He cannot believe they are in danger not to agree. The reason why this should be referred to a Grand Committee is, because that is not so slippery to go through as the House. This is a charge over, and done but to secure it, in going to the Committee, and you cannot do it now, it seems, without a dilatory way of raising money. What business can this have at the Committee? He lays this down as a maxim, that if you take not away this course and practice of borrowing at interest upon interest, what can the nation have to keep it from ever wanting? There was a time once, when 2,500,000l. was given in yonder corner, (where Paston moved it.) When given, it was perfected in two days; and if you will devote this money to particular uses, you will go through the business. There was borrowed, upon the credit of that great sum, so much upon interest, that 'tis not paid to this day. 'Tis the interest of particular persons to put the King upon borrowing. Gentlemen that take their half-years rents before-hand, will eat both land and rent before-hand—And what is the reason you press men for the sea-service, but because you do not pay them? If ever you intend to have men fight, 'tis interest must bring men to you. If ever you intend to have a Navy, for the honour of the King, to be master at sea, this Clause "of appropriating the tonnage and poundage to the use of the Navy only," must be inserted in this Bill.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Offers this, that nothing can stand between this Appropriation and you, but the impossibility of doing it—Would settle the nearest time for this matter, and set out the true state of the Revenue, and then you may judge whether it is capable to suffer this Appropriation; and, if it be not, would have gentlemen consider what they are doing with that which is for your greatest safety. Set therefore a short time to examine the state of the Revenue, and the consequences of this Appropriation, and go not now into it, when we cannot come out of it with that reasonableness the thing requires.
Sir George Downing.] He takes this Question to be of great consequence; it may be, more than is apprehended. If you will have a Clause in this Bill, it must be at a Grand Committee; but is utterly against giving a Committee such power; to make such a marriage. He says, ('till you vote it otherwise) it will be a detestable marriage. When you go in such an untrodden way, you may repent when it is too late. Things of this kind are altering the Government. The King's Answer to a Money Bill, is, le Roi remercie ses bons sujets; accepts leur benevolence. To a public Bill he answers, when he passes it, le Roi le veult; a distinct Answer for the MoneyBill. What Answer shall the King then make to this Bill? The King must make two Answers to this one Bill, being of two natures. If this way come to be made a practice, what shall the Answer be? The King's judgment in passing Bills ought to be as free as ours, and it is for the kingdom's good it should be so. When once this way is made use of in one Bill, why not in another? 'Tis for our good that the King should come as free as we to passing Bills. The consequence else will be, either the King must lose the money, or pass the Bill. Therefore is against such a power to the Committee.
Mr Vaughan.] This very law of the Customs, given upon trust and confidence, for guarding the sea, has been broken. How was Magna Charta granted, and Money was annexed to it? 'Tis not so strange a thing therefore as Downing makes it. If the Customs will not renew the old ships, you must relieve new ships out of some new matter that you have not yet given.
Mr Powle.] Hears it said, "That, in giving this supply, we give nothing to the King."—The Commons have given nothing, or very little, to the King, for defence of the kingdom. If the Commons do give an aid for the sea, they give for support of the Government. This is giving to the King, and he is a gainer by it, by taking undue pensions and farms upon it—and the King thanks us for it. The Customs are at least 600,000l. per ann. That aid is not for the splendor of the Court, and Embassies.
Sir Richard Temple.] Such a Clause as this might be, when the King passed all the Acts together, and the King refused or passed what he pleased; but since the King must now accept, or refuse, all, and give one uniform Answer, therefore the Bills must be so. The Clause of Corn, in a Money-Bill, spoken of, was not remote to the matter, as is said. This of Appropriation is, to another Bill not yet brought in, and you break Orders in the method of it. If you will go on with it, would appoint to-morrow, ten of the clock, that you may be acquainted with the state of the Revenue. It was never the practice of this House to annex an impossible condition to an aid. You do by this Clause repeal your resolution, and overthrow what you have already done.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Temple has convinced him, in this matter, more than he was before. He tells you, "that this money must be otherwise employed, and yet, that it is necessary the Fleet be preserved." He tells you ingenuously, that he would not adjourn the House, yet would adjourn the Debate—He says, 'tis proper for the Committee; but the House is not resolved of it—'Tis a strange way of saving time. This Clause is but applying the money to the use it was first given.
Sir Edward Dering.] 'Tis unavoidable, that, if a man speaks to Order, he must speak to the merits too. He has often heard of arguments of inconvenience—We are all unanimous to apply the sum given to building ships only—Believes we are all of a mind, as to that. You are told, "'tis against Order—A thing of such weight, at this time of the day, to go into a Grand Committee. —And the King's giving an uncertain Answer to the Bill." All which he has not yet heard answered. To which he shall add, that it is not safe—And of great weight—The Bankers must be heard; and if for these, the Lords should refuse to pass this Appropriation, and the Bill of 300,000l. the account being to be made to the Commons, exclusive of the Lords, would you, for that, lose the particular Bill for Appropriation? Would therefore have the Bill single.
Mr Waller.] Certainly one cannot speak to the Question, without speaking to the merits of the cause. The confidence and trust of the Commons gave the King the Customs, "for guard of the sea;" and so the Preamble of the Act for the Customs runs. 'Tis a great error to think that is not given to the King, which is for the common good, for our defence, and he is master of peace and war. He thinks this Bill cannot be without this Clause of Appropriation. It is thrown in our way, that the Customs are the subsistence of the King; and where is the money for ships? 'Tis said, "the King has subsisted on it," and so he may on this money we now give. "The King subsists on the Customs." This is plainly to tell us, we shall never have a Navy, but by a Land Tax—But he thinks, that neither the King, nor the nation, can subsist without this. As to subsistence for the King, finds it a rock in the way, and it must be removed. The King had purveyance for his subsistence, and pre-emption and composition; we found it of no use to the King, and we give him more in lieu of that. Can any man give such horrible advice? The most envious of our neighbours could not give worse, than not to appropriate the Customs. We give him better advice; to subsist upon what is given him to do it upon. But 'tis said, "'tis anticipated." 'Tis some private bargain for private convenience—Put this into the scale against the support of the nation. What is the duty of a loyal Parliament, but to break these snares? We have it de jure, but ex necessitate; all naval forces in the world are maintained by the result of the trade of the sea. Holland, the Venetians, the Carthaginians, are all so maintained. To take this away, and put it upon Land-Tax!—Tonnage and Poundage are the straw for the fleet, and we are sent to gather stubble to make those bricks.
Mr Vaughan.] No man will distrust the King; but we find those that have violated laws. We find that, to our smart, the King has been misguided by ill counsels; but to have the King's name used in such raptures, he cannot endure it—Every thing is "appropriated;" and shall other men interpret your laws to the King's ruin? This squandering away will put the King so to it, that he cannot eat, but must come hither for it. The King ought not to be named in matters of offence, and we cannot bear it with patience.
Mr Pepys.] The King has rightly applied 350,000l. per ann. in the Navy. He asserts, that there has not been a year since the King came in, but there has been spent 400,000l. per ann. Would settle you in that for the present, and shall apply it more hereafter. It had been very well for the King, if the money long since had been "appropriated." He believes every one is for a seasonable Appropriation of the Customs; but whether now? He wonders it is so pressed, when most positively avowed, that the King cannot eat bread, if you do it; and many persons will be undone by it. Take all the fair means to be informed of it, before you pass this Vote.
Sir William Bucknall.] 'Tis a great mistake to say, "The King cannot eat bread, if the Customs be anticipated." Suppose all the Revenue was anticipated. If he apprehended this to be the case, would be as unwilling as any man to do it. Proffered a paper.
Sir Thomas Meres.] 'Tis said, "that gentlemen have not offered reason in this matter;" and the great point of impossibility is urged upon us. When this comes to a Committee of the whole House, then these papers of accounts, and all things, may be exposed. 'Tis said, "What shall the King have to maintain his House, but the Customs?" By this Appropriation, the Navy-materials shall be 20 per cent. cheaper; and this Appropriation not to commence till Lady-day next.
Sir William Bucknall.] He believes, they that tell you of this think it true; and they make the King believe the same thing they would make us believe. To talk of the Anticipation of the Revenue for three years, is no more than he to have anticipated his own Revenue for seven years to keep his wife and children! If he be rightly informed, this Anticipation is to pay pensions for two or three years to come, whilst the just debts are not paid, but the Pensions for two or three years to come. In rules of good husbandry, it is usual to pay off what a man pays most interest for. But the King pays the new debts, and the old ones are forgot. Doubts not but, when we come to a Committee, we shall find that the King is misled in the manner of the Anticipations, and his House—And that he may "eat bread," and support the Government, and do what you desire, and a great overplus of the Revenue remain; would put the Question for the House to go into a Committee, to make as much of this as we can.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Should have been beholden to Bucknal, if he would have given an account of this sooner. Would have time given him, and the shortest, that he may, in the House, or at a Committee of the whole House, and believes we shall be all of a mind to have what he proposes done.
Sir Henry Capel.] Is more concerned now than he was before, since Bucknall spoke, that we are not ready for a Vote. But since this Debate has been (which he thinks irregular) would appoint this matter as a head to be part of the Bill, and he will give his consent.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Differs from Capel. We are ready for the main Question. Under a pretence of going into a Committee, 'tis but to talk the same things over again. Some gentlemen are against any Appropriation (Was called to name them, and did.) Sir Charles Harbord, and Sir Winston Churchill.
Sir Tho. Littleton proceeds—As to arguments, that the King could not "eat bread," he could name four or five more that used them against the Appropriations. He wonders that gentlemen are against it now, when we heard not of them when the Bill of Appropriation passed. But now they are to be annexed to this Bill, we hear of them. The debts upon the Customs are made an argument also. When we were on the number of the ships, the officers of the Exchequer desired time, and concluded the Anticipation Money adjusted between seven and eight hundred thousand pounds. Every one knows, that the fine upon farming the Excise was 300,000l. Upon the Chimney Farm, 100,000l. as a fore-rent; and he is informed, that the Excise may be let for double that fine. So here is no hindrance from the King to take off these Anticipations. And there remains 900,000l. per ann. for the King to live on. Now, add the Wine-duty, 148,000l. or 150,000l. per ann. Chimney Money 150,000l. per ann. The Excise 550,000l. per ann. The Law Bill 20,000 l. per ann. It may be a little short. And the little branches of the Revenue make up the rest 900,000l. per ann. Knows not what occasion there is to have recourse to any farther examination. Would conclude the matter, and spend no more time about it—Afterwards we may come to a Committee of the whole House; but why at the beginning of this business, being not raising of money, but what was debated before, and so not necessary to spring from a Committee, but from your Chair?
Sir Stephen Fox.] You are told, "That the Excise is no otherwise anticipated than Bucknall's estate is for seven years, for the maintenance of his wife and children."— The Excise is anticipated to the end of the farm, for one year. 'Tis said, there has been a great fine paid for it, but that carries on the expence of the House, and the forces. It was an advance, and no fine. A quarter, or near half a year, 245,000l.—229,000l. paid at one slap to the Navy; and 40,000l. to the Ordnance—Rises up to tell gentlemen they are under a great mistake, the tallies being only struck to January next—The Pensions will not come to a quarter part of the expence of the House.
Sir John Ernly.] Hears a great discourse "of Anticipations."—He knows not of some sorts, but possibly they are not real. If you appropriate, before these Anticipations are discharged, you do nothing to the purpose.
Mr Sacheverell.] The last argument was, "That something was charged on the Customs already; and, therefore, not to appropriate all."—That may be some reason why the Appropriation cannot commence so soon.
Sir John Duncombe.] The Question is now, of appropriating all the Customs. He did not expect this Debate; he did expect you would receive the state of the Revenue, and he has it ready; and, when examined, you will possibly be of another mind. Take the matter of fact, and make yourselves judges of the subsistence and Revenue of the Crown, laid before you, and you are not till then ripe to judge. The Revenue itself is 1,300,000l. Then fee how much of the Revenue is charged with Anticipations. There is between 7 and 800,000l. on the Customs. On the Excise alone there is charged 590,000l. and odd money. On the Chimney money 100,000l. and odd money. The Customs are not charged in course and time, but are actually now charged with 680,000l. With all this there is another charge on the Excise, of the Queen's, and the Duke's, This makes the Excise of no use, till the debt be eaten out. The Customs, at a balance medium, are 600,000l. per ann. The Chimney Money 151,000l. This makes, with the Excise, about 1,300,000l. per ann. The Law Bill is fallen to 20,000l. per ann. Some part of the Revenue must be left for accidents of farming; and if you take away the whole Customs, 150,000 l. out of the Customs, and 100,000l. out of the Excise, all that of the Customs is anticipated and received, and all goes then away, and the King has not one shilling to live on. To do so much, then, to him appears impossible.
Sir Edward Baynton.] Duncombe has been heard more patiently to-day than any man, and wonders any man should say he is interrupted. But will rather fit still, than give the House an interruption—He came as fairly into the Long Parliament, and went as fairly out, as any man did.
Mr Powle.] This is no distrust of the King, but of his Officers. 'Tis said, the King, by this Clause of Appropriation in the Money Bill, is not at liberty to receive the one, and reject the other. For that reason, he is for it. To do more than we have, is but for so many ships to lie by the walls.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Hears the Question asked, "How the King shall be the better for this?"—This is a sure way, that the Lords may come to a Conference—The Lords may hinder the passing of the Bill—They are near the King, and have Pensions—'Tis that the accounts of this money may come hither, and that the money may be for the King's use, and no reflection upon the King.
Mr Mallet.] The Parliament, in Edward the Third's time, had a great kindness for him, and gave him money with great caution, not that they mistrusted him, but a woman, called Alice Pierce, whom they mistrusted.
Sir Lionel Jenkins.] If the King has a right, he has the common right of all mankind, to be heard, before you give any thing away from him; and they must answer for what they do, as well as their meanest subjects—The King may be satisfied of one Bill, and not of another, and perhaps his Council is so too. If the Bills do not agree, the King is under a dilemma of sin, as the casuists say, of passing or refusing them.
Sir John Duncombe.] This will make a change of the Government, and put men upon desperation—The King may pay his debts by it, without being at the expence of your charge. Wonders that this cloud, from the bigness of a man's hand, should thus cover the hemisphere. He speaks this out of his faithfulness and zeal to the service of the nation. Would not have the Question put.
Col. Birch.] Says Duncombe, "This is a reflection on the King, and a shaking the Government;" but finds that all has been still supposition—He says, let him suppose too. Suppose there are Pensions upon the Customs, and suppose petty farms, and let any body answer for him, is it for the service or dis-service of the King? Or is this distrust of him to set him at liberty from those engagements, when he cannot in honour so well set his own arms at liberty? Let any man show him a better way to set the King at liberty, and he will hear him.
The Question being put, That the Bill for appropriating the Customs to the use of the Navy shall be annexed to the Bill for raising a Supply for the providing, equipping, and furnishing, the twenty ships, it passed in the affirmative, 151 to 124. [And a Committee was appointed to bring in the said Bills, so united and annexed.]