Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 16, 1696-1701. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 15 Martii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Report of Facts relating to Treaty of Partition.
The Earl of Nottingham reported from the Lords Committees, appointed to draw up and state the Facts, as to the Treaty now in Debate:
"That the Committee had met, and thought it proper to set down such Facts as appeared to them; (videlicet,)
"1. That, by the Treaty of Partition, Naples, Sicily, &c. were to be given to the Dauphin.
"2. That the Emperor was not a Party to this Treaty, though principally concerned.
"3. That no Minister of The States Generall met with the Plenipotentiaries of England and France, as were required, by the Powers, at the making the Treaty in London.
"4. That there were no Instructions in Writing to our Plenipotentiaries, though the Powers were unlimited; and that if there were verbal Orders given, yet it appears not to us they were considered in any Council.
"5. That the Treaty, when perfected, was not considered in any Council before it was ratified.
"6. That it appears, that the Warrant for Ratification was counter-signed by One of the Plenipotentiarics.
"7. That this Treaty was transacted and signed, and the Great Seal affixed to it, during the Sitting of a Parliament."
Then the House, upon Consideration of the First Head in the said Report, agreed to the same, with the Alteration following; (videlicet,) instead of ["given to"], ["put into the Hands of"].
Then the Second Head was read.
After Debate thereupon:
The Question was put, "Whether this Paragraph shall stand?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
Protest against rejecting the Second Head.
"1. Because it is manifest by the Treaty itself, that the Matter of Fact is true.
"2. Because the Emperor, as we conceive, had been the most proper to have been treated with on this Occasion; for it was more prudent and safe to have treated with the Emperor to have restrained the Pretensions of France, than with France to lessen the Dominions of the House of Austria; which, in its full Strength, and in Conjunction with the most considerable Powers in Europe, and with the Expence of more than Sixty Millions Sterling to our Share, was scarce able to withstand the Arms of France.
"3. But, admitting that the Emperor was not the most proper to be treated with; yet, to prevent the Umbrage which might be taken by uniting too many Dominions under One Prince, especially such a Prince, as, without any Additions, was formidable to all Europe; yet, of all others, the Emperor was the most improper to be left out of such a Treaty; for he was most concerned in it, and our Ministers could not, or at least did not, sufficiently support His Interests, or the just Balance of Europe; but, on the contrary, as we are informed by One Lord who signed this Treaty, it was concluded against the express Desire of the Emperor.
"3. That no Minister of The States Generall met with the Plenipotentiaries of England and France, as were required by the Powers at the making the Treaty in London."
This Question was put, "Whether this Paragraph shall stand?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
Protest against rejecting the Third Head.
"1. Because the Truth of this Proposition is Reason enough for asserting it; and it must certainly be of fatal Consequence, if Ministers, without any Directions, by Instructions in Writing, shall presume to act contrary to the very Commission that empowers them; and in this Case, the Assistance of the Dutch Ministers was the more necessary, because the Emperor was no Party to this Treaty, and The States Generall are more immediately concerned than we are, to promote His Interests.
"2. But, if this Treaty was concerted with the Dutch Ministers in One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-nine, before His Majesty's Return into England, as was asserted by One of the Lords who signed it afterwards in London: Then,
"1. This Treaty was made by those who had no Authority to transact it; for the Power was not granted by His Majesty till the Second of January following.
"2. As they acted without Power, so without Instructions too in Writing; which never was practised in any former Transaction Abroad.
"Lastly, we conceive, that neither of the foregoing Facts ought in Reason, or according to the Method of Parliament, to be ordered to be omitted; because, till the Committee had formed the Address pursuant to the Order, 'twas impossible to know what Use would be made of those Facts; for, as they might have been improperly applied, and then would have been justly rejected, so there might have been so great Use made of them, and so opposite to the Design of the House in the intended Address, that 'twill be improper to omit them.
Tho. Roffen." (fn. 1)
After Consideration of the Report made from the Lords Committees appointed to state Matters of Fact, upon the Treaty in Debate, and to draw an Address to His Majesty thereupon:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Debate upon the Fourth Paragraph in the Report shall be, and is hereby, adjourned to Monday next, at Eleven of the Clock; and all the Lords summoned.
Williams versus Williams.
Upon reading the Petition of Henry Washington, Agent for John Williams, Appellant in this House; praying, That the Respondents Katherine Williams and Elizabeth Williams may produce, at the Hearing of the Cause before this House, the original Articles on which the Cause depends:"
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Respondents, or their Clerk, have Notice of this Petition.
Dominus Custos Magni Sigilli declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Lunæ, (videlicet,) decimum septimum diem instantis Martii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.