Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 17, 1701-1705. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, 3 Aprilis.
Bill for taking; &c. the Public Accompts; Lords Reasons for adhering to Amendment.
The Earl of Sunderland reported from the Lords Committees, the Reasons drawn by them, for their Lordships insisting on their Amendment made to the Bill, intituled, "An Act for the taking, examining, and stating, the Public Accompts of the Kingdom."
"The Lords cannot but observe, the Commons, in Justification of their Disagreement to the Lords Amendments, offer again the same Reasons which they made Use of in the Year 1691, and which they know had then no Weight with the Lords.
"1. To the First Reason given by the Commons, at the Conference, the Lords answer, "That, in the Act passed in the 19th of King Charles the Second, for taking the Public Accompts, the Commissioners thereby constituted were named by the House of Commons; which the Lords agreed to, as well because they approved of the Number and Quality of the Persons, as because they were not Members of the House of Commons, and therefore might always be sent for, at the Pleasure of the Lords, to explain any Matters relating to those Accompts, to justify their Observations, and to receive such Directions as the Lords should judge necessary for the Public Service to give thereupon: But, since the Commissioners have been all Members of the House of Commons, the Lords have found, by Experience, that they cannot have that Assistance and Light from them which is necessary to their Examination; the House of Commons not suffering their Members to attend without Leave, and refusing it when the Lords desired it; such Leave being particularly denied this Session, not only with respect to the Commissioners, but to the Accomptant, which put a total Stop to the Lords farther Proceedings in examining the Commissioners Observations.
"2. As to the Second Reason; their Lordships reply, "That they are unwilling to enter into a Dispute with the House of Commons, what is the proper Work of either House, in relation to the granting Supplies to the Crown: But they must always insist upon their undoubted Right of taking and examining all Accompts of Public Money. And certainly the present Case can admit of no Dispute; for, since the Bill provides that the Accompts be laid before the Lords, it must be owned, that it is the proper Work of this House to examine them.
"The Lords have made such Progress in the Examination of the Accompts and Observations delivered to them, in the last as well as the present Session, that, to their Surprize, they have found many great Errors and Mistakes in the Observations of the Commissioners; which the Lords are ready to communicate to the House of Commons, as well to do Justice to the Persons concerned, as for the Information of that House, and for the Public Service."
"As to what the Commons said, in the Conference, "That no Commoner could be named for any Public Employment, unless by the House of Commons;" it is an Assertion without any Foundation, and contrary to a Multitude of Precedents: And the Lords do insist, that they have an equal Right with the Commons, to name Salaries, to be paid them out of the Exchequer, for such Persons as they shall appoint for Public Service.
"And whereas it was objected by the Commons, "That the Lords had agreed to several Bills, wherein the Commissioners for Public Accompts were solely named by the House of Commons; and that therefore they are suprized to find the Lords make such an Amendment to this Bill:" The Lords answer, "That they did not foresee the great Inconveniencies that might arise from naming Members of the House of Commons only to be Commissioners, so fully as has of late appeared by Experience." But they farther say, "That there having been, many Years, Reports raised, and with much Industry spread abroad, that great Sums of Money had been misapplied or embezzled, and converted to the Advantage of private Persons, the Lords were willing to put that Matter into any Method of Examination that might be most likely to conduce to the Discovery of such Abuses; and, because it was imagined that Persons in great Stations were concerned, who might bastle the Inquiry of any but Members of the House of Commons, the Lords agreed to such Commissioners, in order to make the Experiment; but never intended thereby to depart from any Right. And the Commissioners having no, in so many Years, detected any considerable Fraud or Abuse, as was expected from them, the Lords think it now absolutely necessary to add some others, who, being eminent Citizens, of great Abilities, known Integrity, and Experience in Accompts, may give the Members Assistance in so useful and difficult a Service. Though the House of Commons have thought fit to tell us what Resolution they came to, in relation to the Commissioners of Accompts; we doubt not they intend to leave the House of Lords to act according to their own Judgement: And since the House of Commons, notwithstanding that Resolution, ["That the Commissioners of Accompts have discharged their Trust to the general Good of the whole Nation,"] have not named them all again in this Bill, but have left out Two Gentlemen of the former Commission, the Lords have taken the Liberty to leave out a Third. The Lords hope the House of Commons will agree with them in this Amendment, when they are informed that it was made according to a Rule which they laid down to themselves, as appears by their Printed Votes, "That no Person should be named a Commissioner of Accompts, who was accomptable to Her Majesty."
"Isaac Tarry and William Nicholson petitioned the Lords, on Behalf of themselves and others, Soldiers of the Regiment of Horse commanded by Major General Windham, formerly by Colonel Bierly; complaining, "That there was due to them a considerable Arrear;" and praying, "That Colonel Bierly may be obliged to accompt with and pay the said Regiment." The Lords inquired into that Matter; and did find, That Major General Windham did represent to the Commissioners for stating the Debt due to the Army, "That, of the Sum of £. 28,227. 2 s. 9&frac1/2; d. with which Colonel Bierly stood charged, he did discharge himself of no more than the Sum of £. 22,641. 10. s. 11&frac3/4; d.;" so that there remains the Sum of £. 5,585. 11 s. 9&frac3/4; d. for which Colonel Bierly is still accomptable: And the Lords do not think it proper, that One who is charged to have so much Public Money in his Hands should be a Commissioner of Accompts.
"Nothing of this appeared to the Lords, when he was named in the former Bills; and there is Reason to believe, that Colonel Bierly might have made Use of the Authority of a Commissioner of Accompts, to cover his Neglect in accompting, as well for that this is the only Regiment whose Accompts are not adjusted, as also because there has been more done towards settling the Accompt since his Name was left out of the Bill than was done in many Years before, if we are rightly informed.
"If the Commons think fit to agree with the Lords in the Number of the Commissioners, they may, if they please, alter the Quorum, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, to which the Lords may agree; though there have been Commissions of a higher Nature, wherein the Quorum was less than the Majority of the Commissioners, and no Absurdities nor Inconveniencies happened from it.
"As to the Clause marked (A), the Lords do not insist on that Amendment; they having agreed to a Clause to the same Effect in the Bill, intituled, "An Act for punishing Mutiny and Desertion," &c. But they must observe, that that Bill came up to the Lords since they made that Amendment, by which the Commons shew there was a Necessity of such a Clause; and they must also observe, that though the Lords might have thought there was Reason to make Amendments to that Clause, and to several other Parts of that Bill, yet they were obliged to pass the Bill without any Amendments; or else this Bill, so necessary for the Discipline of the Forces, would have been in Danger of being lost, by the Adjournment of the House of Commons for a Week; which was never done before at the End of a Session, when Bills, and Conferences upon them, were depending.
"Though the Lords have not the same Opinion of the Execution of the late Commission of Accompts, as the Commons expressed at the Conference; yet they shall be very unwilling that this Bill should be lost; and hope the Commons will not suffer it to fall, by disagreeing to such reasonable and useful Amendments; and, for that Reason, their Lordships insist upon their First Amendment, but not upon that of the Clause marked (A)."
Message to H. C. for a Conference about it.
List of all Causes depending in Chancery, to be laid before the House:
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England do order the Registers of the Court of Chancery to lay before this House, on the First Day of the next Session of Parliament, a List of all Causes depending in that Court.
And a List of Chancery Fees.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Six Clerks, Registers, and all other Officers in or belonging to the Court of Chancery, do lay before this House, on the First Day of the next Session of Parliament, Lists of all Fees taken or claimed by them, or any of them, for Business done in their several Offices in Chancery.
Poor Laws, Judges to consider.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That all the Judges do consider of the Laws now in Force, relating to the Poor, and of the Defects of the same; and that they do prepare a Bill, to be laid before this House the First Day of the next Session of Parliament, for preventing the Increase and Charge of the Poor of this Kingdom; and for the better maintaining and employing the Poor, by erecting Workhouses, or otherwise.
Answer from H. C.
Message from thence, to return DeHaut's & al. Nat. Bill.
To return the Bill, intituled, "An Act for naturalizing Henry de Haut, George Chabot, and others;" and to acquaint this House, that they have agreed to the same, with some Amendments, whereunto they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Bill for taking. &c. the Public Accompts, Report of the Conference upon.
Her Majesty, being seated on Her Royal Throne, adorned with Her Crown and Regal Ornaments, attended with Her Officers of State (the Peers being also in their Robes); commanded the Deputy Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to signify to the House of Commons, "That it is Her Majesty's Pleasure, they attend Her presently, in the House of Peers."
Then the Clerk of the Parliaments took the said Bills from the Hands of the Speaker, and brought them to the Table; where the Clerk of the Crown read the Titles of them, and the Bills following, severally; (videlicet,)
"1. An Act for granting to Her Majesty an additional Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage for Three Years; and for laying a further Duty upon French Wine;, condemned as lawful Prize; and for ascertaining the Values of unrated Goods imported from The Last Indias."
"2. An Act for the making more effectual Her Majesty's Gracious Intentions, for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the Poor Clergy, by enabling Her Majesty to grant in Perpetuity the Revenues of the First Fruits and Tenths; and also for enabling any other Persons to make Grants for the same Purpose."
"4. An Act for the better and more regular paying and assigning the Annuities, after the Rate of Three Pounds per Centum per Annum, payable to several Bankers, and other Patentees, or those claiming under them."
"5. An Act for punishing Mutiny, Desertion, and false Musters; and for better paying of the Army and Quarters, and for satisfying divers Arrears; and for a further Continuance of the Powers of the Five Commissioners for examining and determining the Accompts of the Army."
"13. An Act to vest the Manor of Hanslop and Castlethrop, and all other the Lands and Hereditaments of Sir Peter Tyrril Baronet, and Thomas Tyrril Esquire his Son, in the County of Bucks, in Trustees, to sell Part thereof, for Payment of Debts; and to settle other Lands and Hereditaments there, being of an equal Value, in Lieu of Lands to be sold."
"14. An Act to enable Sir John Cowper Knight, and Anthony Henley Esquire, to make a Partition, and grant Building Leases, of several Messuages and Tenements, in Lincolne's Inn Fields, in the Parishes of St. Gyles in the Fields and St. Clement's Danes, in the County of Middl'x."
"15. An Act to vest Part of the Estate of Sir Christopher Philipson Knight in Trustees, to be sold, for Payment of Debt; and for charging Part thereof with Maintenance for a Daughter, who is a Lunatic."
"16. An Act for vesting the Manor of Yeovilton, in the County of Somerset, and other Lands therein mentioned, of William Cary Esquire, in Trustees, for discharging Incumbrances, and making Provision for his Younger Children; and settling other Lands, in the County of Devon, in Lieu thereof."
"17. An Act for vesting divers Manors and Lands of Mathew Holworthy Esquire in Trustees, to be sold; and purchasing other Manors or Lands, of equal Value; and limiting the Manors or Lands, to be purchased, to the same Uses as the Lands to be sold are limited."
"18. An Act for enabling Bernard Cotton Esquire to sell some Part of his Estate, for Payment of his Debts; and for confirming several Conveyances, already made, of several other Parcels of his Estate, by himself and Trustees, to several Purchasers thereof."
"19. An Act to charge the Estate of Ambrose Andrews Gentleman with Monies, for Payment of Debts; and for supplying some Defects in the Settlement of the said Estate, for making a Jointure and Leases upon the said Estate."
"22. An Act for the better vesting in Giles Frampton Esquire the Manor and Farm of Mcorton, alias Moreton, and Hurst, in the County of Dorset, in Possession; and for the better securing the same, and the other Manors, Farms, Messuages, Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, late of William Frampton Esquire, deceased, to him the said Giles Frampton, and such as are entitled in Remainder after him, upon the Death of Tregonwell Frampton Esquire."
"25. An Act to subject the Estate of Robert Coke, of Trusley, in the County of Derby, Esquire, and William Coke, his Son and Heir Apparent, to the Payment of the said Robert Coke's Debts; and to make Provision for the Wife and Younger Children of the said William Coke."
"26. An Act for the setting aside a voluntary Settlement made by Mary Fermor Widow; and for ratifying a Partition made of the Manors of Mersham and Pett, and divers Lands in the County of Sussex, between her and Bartholomew Walmesley Esquire and others."
"28. An Act for making good the Provision intended for Captain James Roche, out of the forfeited Estates in Ireland; and for restoring to the Bishopric of Cloyne, in the said Kingdom, the Manor and Lands of Donomore."
"29. An Act for setting aside voluntary Settlements made by John Hawe Gentleman, of Estates, in the Counties of Stafford and Warwick, and settling some Part of his Estate upon the said John Hawe and his Son; and for making Provision for the Maintenance of his Son and Daughter, and raising a Portion for such Daughter, and selling the Residue for Payment of his Debts."
"30. An Act for Sale of the Estate of John Digby Esquire, deceased, in the County of Buckingham, and dividing the Money between Sir John Conway Baronet and Richard Mostyn Esquire; and for settling the Estate of Sir John Conway, in the County of Flint, and making Provision for his Son and Daughter, according to an Agreement for that Purpose."
"31. An Act for the further recompensing of John Baker Gentleman, and his Family, for the Services of Colonel Baker at London-Derry in Ireland; and for stating the Accompts of the late Receivers of the Rents and Profits of the forfeited Estates in Ireland."
"And I must thank you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, very particularly, for the great Forwardness and Zeal which you have shewn, both in the early Dispatch of the Supplies, and in making them so effectual for carrying on the Public Expence, without any additional Burthens upon the Country: It shall be My Care, to improve this, to the best Advantage.
"At the Opening of this Session, I did earnestly express My Desires of seeing you in perfect Unity among yourselves, as the most effectual Means imaginable to disappoint the Ambition of our Enemies, and reduce them to an honourable and lasting Peace: And though this has not met with all that Success which I wished and expected, yet, being fully convinced that nothing is so necessary to our common Welfare, I am not discouraged from persisting in the same earnest Desires, that you would go down into your several Countries so disposed to Moderation and Unity, as becomes all those who are joined together in the same Religion and Interest.
"It is Her Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, That this Parliament should be prorogued to Tuesday the Fourth Day of July next: And this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday the Fourth Day of July next."