Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 6, 1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, videlicet, 12 die Februarii.
Report of the Conference on the Ordinance concerning the Committee of both Kingdoms.
The Earl of Manchester reported the Effect of the Conference on Saturday last with the House of Commons; who said, "It was delivered, That both Houses of Parliament having invited the Kingdom of Scotland to their Assistance, and having agreed by certain Articles to go on with joint Counsels; and the Kingdom [ (fn. 1) of Scotland] having lately sent hither certain Commissioners to treat with the Two Houses of Parliament concerning all Things contained in the former Articles; the House of Commons had prepared an Ordinance, appointing Committees of both Houses to treat with the Commissioners sent from Scotland; (fn. 2) which Ordinance being sent up to your Lordships, your Lordships have (fn. 1) made Four Amendments; to which Amendments they do not agree, but conceive the Ordinance as it was sent up to your Lordships complete and perfect.
"The First Amendment was, your Lordships thought fit to leave out these Two Words ["order and direct"], as regulating (fn. 3) the managing of the War; but they conceive that those Two Words should stand, for these Reasons:
"1. First, It is of absolute Necessity for the managing of the War, such a Power should be in the Committee of both Houses at this Time, in regard the Power cannot be exercised with Secrecy and Speed by both Houses immediately; and therefore consequently the War cannot be managed by both Houses, if such a Committee be not appointed.
"2. Secondly, It is impossible, unless such a Power be placed in a Committee of both Houses with those Commissioners of Scotland, that the Forces of the Kingdom within itself, or those of Scotland, can either be united or employed to the Public Good.
"A Second Amendment is, those Words ["according to Instructions given by both Houses"]: To this Amendment they cannot agree, because it destroys the Power intended to be given by the precedent Clause; and it so runs through the whole Ordinance as that it will be destructive to the main Ends mentioned in the Ordinance, and will be dilatory to all their Proceedings.
"The Fourth Amendment was, an Addition to the Number which was formerly brought up in the Ordinance; to which Addition they cannot agree, but desire the former Number may stand, lest an Addition of new Names should occasion a long Debate, and so breed a Delay in the present Treaty with the Scotts Commissioners; whose Desires are very pressing, that something may be concluded, because they have stayed long here, and must of Necessity give a speedy Account to their Nation of their own Proceedings, and of the Affairs of this Kingdom: For these Reasons, they do adhere in every Particular to the Ordinance as it was brought up to your Lordships, and desire your Lordships speedy Concurrence in it, in regard our Affairs require a Settlement of a Committee."
Debates upon the Report.
And the Clause for the Committees of Parliament and the Commissioners of Scotland to have Power to advise, consult, order, and direct, the managing and carrying on of the War for the best Advantage of the Three Kingdoms, was read, as it was brought up from the House of Commons.
Next the House debated whether the Second Amendment made by this House should stand or no; being these Words, videlicet, ["according to the Instructions which they shall receive from Time to Time from both Houses of Parliament"]: And this House Resolved and consented to have the said Words left out, and that Clause to pass as it came from the House of Commons.
Next this Clause was read; videlicet, ["in Consideration hereof, the Lords and Commons do nominate, ordain, and appoint, Algernon Earl of Northumb. Rob't Earl of Essex Lord General, Robert Earl of Warwicke Lord Admiral, Edward Earl of Manchester, Wm. Viscount Say & Seale, Phillip Lord Wharton, John Lord Robartes"].
Ordered, To have a Conference with the House of Commons, at Five of the Clock this Afternoon, to let them know, that this House (fn. 4) agrees to all the Ordinance, excepting the Words ["Order and Direct"].
Message to the H. C. for a further Conference on this Business; and to concur in the French Ambassador's Passes, &c.
To desire a Conference this Afternoon, at Five of the Clock, about the Ordinance for nominating Committees to treat with the Scotts Commissioners, about joining the Counsels of both Kingdoms together; and to desire their Concurrence in the Order and Passes to Prince Harcourt.
Message from thence, with Orders.
Sir P. Killegrew to attend the French Ambassador.
L. Viscount (fn. 5) Say & Seale.
Message from the H. C. to expedite some Ordinances, &c. brought up;
1. To the Ordinance concerning (fn. 6) Middlesex.
and with One for Concurrence.
Ordinance for sealing Writs of Error.
Answer from the H. C.
The Messengers sent to the House of Commons return (fn. 7) Answer:
That they agree to all the Passes concerning the Prince De Harcourt and Monsieur De Gressy; and that they will give [ (fn. 8) a present Conference,] in the Painted Chamber, as is desired.
Committee to prepare Heads for the Conference about the Ordinance concerning the Committee of both Kingdoms.
Ordered, That the Earls of Lyncolne, Denbigh, and Stamford, and the Lord Willoughby, are to draw up what is fit to be said at the next Conference with the House of Commons; and to report the same to this House.
Report of them.
"1. Because it is our Intent to leave the active Part to my Lord General; and it cannot be doubted but he will be ready to pursue those Advices which shall be given him by this Committee, unless he discern some inevitable Necessity, wherein the General must be trusted, and cannot be directed by those that are remote.
"3. As such a Diminution would prove of small Encouragement to Persons of Honour, who have undertaken the Service with much Hazard, Fidelity, and Success, so it might cast a sad Influence upon the rest of the Commanders in the Army, and prove of unhappy Consequence and Precedent to future Times.
"5. In regard of that Point of Secrecy, which is the principal End of this Ordinance; the Affairs of War will be managed with more Privacy by a General, than by a Committee composed of so many Persons, and placed at such a Distance from the Armies."
And further, at this Conference, it was to be desired, "That the House of Commons would explain the Meaning of some Words which were delivered by Mr. Prideaux at the late Conference; videlicet, ["without such a Committee, the War will be carried on without the Two Houses"]; which Words are conceived to be of ill Consequence to the Lord General for what is past, unless a clear Interpretation be made of them."