SPEECHES and DEBATES In the Second Session of the Second Parliament of King George I.
Anno. 10. Geo. 1. 1723-24.
On the 9th of January, the Parliament being met,
according to their last Prorogation, the King went
to the House of Peers, and the Commons attending,
the Lord Chancellor read his Majesty's Speech to both
Houses, as follows:
King's Speech at opening the Second Session.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I Cannot open this Session without congratulating you
upon the Success of your Endeavours last Year, for
the Safety, Interest, and Honour of the Kingdom: The
Rise of the publick Credit, the flourishing Condition of
our Trade and Manufactures, and the general Tranquility
of my People, are the happy Consequences of your prudent Resolutions. It is to be hop'd, that the few Examples, which were made of some notorious Offenders, will
be sufficient to deter the most Disaffected from engaging in
the like desperate and wicked Practices. The Augmentation,
which you thought fit to make to our National Forces by
Sea and Land, has not only secur'd the general Quiet of
the Kingdom against any sudden Attempts or Insurrections,
but has also given me such Weight and Credit in all foreign Negotiations, as greatly contribute towards the Preservation of the Peace of Europe.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"I will order the proper Officers to lay before you the
Estimates for the Service of the current Year: I desire
such Supplies only, as you shall find absolutely necessary
for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom, and for the Security of my People; and those, I hope, may be rais'd
without laying any additional Charge or Burthen on my
"I must, in a particular Manner, recommend to your
Care the publick Debts of the Kingdom, as the most
National Concern you can possibly take into your Consideration. I am persuaded it must be a very great Satisfaction to all my faithful Subjects, to see the sinking Fund
improv'd and augmented, and the Debt of the Nation
thereby put into a Method of being so much the sooner
gradually reduc'd and paid off: It would be a Work
truly worthy of a British Parliament, to begin this commendable Undertaking, and to make such a Progress
therein, as, with a strict Regard to publick Faith and private Property, may pave the Way to this great and desirable End.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"In the present happy Situation of our Affairs, I have
nothing more to recommend to you, than that you would
make Use of the Opportunity, which your own good
Conduct has put into your Hands, in considering of such
farther Laws, as may be wanting for the Ease and Encouragement of Trade and Navigation, for the Employment of the Poor, and for the exciting and encouraging
a Spirit of Industry in the Nation.
"I am fully satisfy'd, that the Trade and Wealth of my
People are the happy Effects of the Liberties they enjoy,
and that the Grandeur of the Crown consists in their Prosperity; and I am as fully persuaded, that all, who wish
well to their Country, must agree with me, that it is the
vainest of all Delusions to imagine, that the Religion,
Laws, and Liberties of this Kingdom can ever be secur'd, but by supporting the present Establishment, and
maintaining the Succession in the Protestant Line. Let us
therefore heartily join in every thing that may tend to
promote our mutual Happiness, and to extinguish the
Hopes of those, who long have been and still are restless
in their Endeavours to subject this Nation to the whole
Train of Miseries, that are inseparable from Popery and
The Commons being return'd to their House, the Lord
Finch mov'd, and being seconded, it was resolv'd, Nem.
Con. That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty,
which was unanimously agreed to, and on the 11th, presented by the whole House, as follows:
The Commons Address of Thanks.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
'Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the
Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled,
beg Leave to congratulate your Majesty upon your safe and
happy Return into these Kingdoms; and most humbly desire your Majesty to accept the unfeigned Thanks of this
House, for your Majesty's most gracious Speech from the
Throne. As your Majesty is pleas'd to found the Grandeur of your Crown in the Security of the Liberties of
your People, and your Glory in promoting their Prosperity;
so they, in Return, must be excited, by all the Ties of
Duty and Gratitude, to build their Happiness upon the
firm and unshaken Principles of Loyalty and Affection to
your Majesty's most Sacred Person and Government.
'It is the greatest Satisfaction to your Majesty's faithful
Commons to find, that the Loyalty of their Resolutions
and the Justice of their Proceedings, in the last Session of
Parliament, have been attended with all the happy Consequences they expected from them; and now have been rewarded with your Majesty's Royal Approbation.
'We beg Leave to assure your Majesty, that we shall
readily and chearfully raise all such Supplies, as shall be necessary to support the Honour of your Majesty's Government, and secure the Tranquility of these Kingdoms.
'We are highly sensible of your Majesty's Goodness to
all your People, in recommending, particularly at this Time,
to our Consideration the publick Debts of the Kingdom;
which are so heavy a Load, and so much a National Concern, that we should be wanting to ourselves, if we did not
assure your Majesty, that we will use our utmost Endeavours to improve and augment the Sinking Fund, and
thereby put the National Debt into a Method of being
gradually reduc'd and paid, without any Violation of
publick Faith, or Infringement of private Property: And
as your Majesty is pleas'd to encourage our attempting so
great and noble a Design; so we are fully persuaded, that
the Wisdom and Steadiness of your Majesty's Government
will enable us to perfect this great Undertaking.
'We assure your Majesty, that we know of no other
Safety, under God, for our Trade and Wealth, Liberty
and Property, Religious and Civil Rights, but the Security
of your Majesty's Sacred Person and Government, and the
Succession in your Royal House; which we will always
support and maintain against any traiterous Attempt whatsoever; being truly sensible of the Blessings we enjoy under
your Majesty's most gracious and happy Government,
which has hitherto preserv'd us from all those Miseries,
Experience has taught us, are inseparable from Popery and
To this Address his Majesty return'd the following Answer.
The King's Answer thereto.
"I Return you my hearty Thanks for this dutiful and
loyal Address: The Wisdom and Resolution of this
Parliament have principally contributed to our present
happy Situation; and the Perseverance of my faithful Commons, with the same Zeal and Unanimity, in the Dispatch
of the publick Business, will be the surest Means of improving this favourable Opportunity to the best Advantage,
for the Honour and Interest of the Kingdom."
Debate concerning the Number of Land-Forces.
January 22. The Commons, in a Committee of the whole
House on the Supply, read the Estimates of the Charge
of the Guards, Garrisons, and Land-Forces, and Mr Treby
mov'd for keeping up the same Number of Troops for the
Year 1724, as were maintain'd the Year before. This occasion'd a warm Debate which lasted five Hours. Mr
Treby (fn. 1) was supported by Mr. R. Walpole, Mr Pelham (fn. 2) ,
Mr Doddington (fn. 3) , Mr Yonge (fn. 3) , Mr Thomas Broderick,
Lord Finch, Serjeant Miller, Hon. Mr St John Broderick, Mr
Docminique, and Mr Pulteney (fn. 4) . But Sir Wilfrid Lawson,
who was supported by Lord Morpeth (fn. 5) , Mr Bromley, Sir
Thomas Hanmer, Mr Sloper, Mr Shippen, Hon. Mr
Verney (fn. 6) , Mr Hungerford, Sir Joseph Jekyll, Mr Jefferies,
Mr Walter Plummer, and Mr Hutcheson, insisted, 'That the
additional Troops rais'd the last Year should be disbanded,
because there was, at this Time, no apparent Occasion for
so great a Number of Forces; but the Question being put
upon the Motion, it was carry'd in the Affirmative by 240
Votes against 100; and resolv'd, I. That the Number of
effective Men to be provided for Guards and Garrisons in
Great Britain, and for Jersey and Guernsey, for the Year
1724, including 1815 Invalids, be 18264 Men, Commission
and Non-Commission Officers included. II. That a Sum not
exceeding 655,668 l. 8s. 7d. be granted for defraying the
Charge of the said 18264 Men, for the Year 1724.
Jan. 23. Those Resolutions being reported, were agreed
to by the House.
Petition from the Sufferers by the Bahama Project. ; Debate thereon. ; The said Petition rejected.
February 21. Sir John Guise presented to the House a Petition
of Sir Gustavus Huine, and George Pratt, Esq; and several
other Persons who were Sufferers by becoming Adventurers
in the Project for carrying on a Trade to the Bahama Islands.
After the Reading of this Petition, a Motion being made,
that the said Petition be referr'd to the Consideration of a
Committee, many Members were inclin'd to the Affirmative; but Mr R. Walpole thereupon represented, 'That this
Petition seem'd intended to open again the Wounds of the
Year 1720, which the Parliament, with great Wisdom, had
endeavour'd to heal; that if they countenanc'd such a Petition, they would soon have a Load of Petitions of the
same Nature brought upon them; and that the Law being
open, the Petitioners ought to seek their Relief there, where
many had already found it.' To this Lord Morpeth reply'd,
'That the rejecting of this Petition would sound very ill without Doors, and look'd as if they skreen'd their own Members; some of whom were known to have been the principal
Managers of the Bahama Project: The Question being put
upon the Motion, it pass'd in the Negative.
April 24. The King came to the House of Peers, and Sir
William Saunderson, Gentleman-Usher of the Black-Rod,
was sent with a Message from his Majesty to the House of
Commons, commanding their Attendance in the House of
Peers; the Commons being come thither accordingly, his
Majesty gave the Royal Assent to several Bills; after which
his Majesty made the following Speech, by the Mouth of the
The King's Speech at concluding the Second Session.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
'The Unanimity, Chearfulness, and Dispatch with
which you have now finish'd every Thing I recommended to you at the Opening this Session, are fresh Instances of your Affection to my Person and Government,
and cannot fail of contributing, with the Blessing of God
on our Endeavours, towards the Establishment of that
happy Tranquility we now enjoy, both at Home and
"Your continuing the like National Force by Sea and
Land this Year, as was judg'd necessary by Parliament for
the Service of the last, gives me great Satisfaction: You
have hereby wisely provided against the Mischiefs from
any sudden Shocks of publick Credit; you have provided
for the Safety of the Kingdom, and have enabled this
Nation to hold among the Powers of Europe the Rank
and Figure due to her Honour and Dignity. Nothing
could have been more acceptable to me, than your having
been able to make that Provision without laying any new
or additional Burthens on my People.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"I return you my Thanks for the Care and Pains you
have taken towards augmenting the Sinking Fund, and
improving the publick Revenues by putting them under
a stricter Management. I make no Doubt but that the
happy Beginning you have made will be attended with
such immediate good Consequences, as will encourage you
to pursue the Way you have now open'd for a gradual
Reduction of the Debt, and for putting the Trade and
Navigation of Great Britain on such a Foot, as may not
only in some Measure discourage the unjustisiable Encroachments they labour under from some of our Neighbours,
but at the same Time extend her Exportations beyond
what has been known in former Ages.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"As the early Recess which your Diligence and Unanimity has procur'd you, affords you the Opportunity of a
longer Retirement into the Country, than the Business of
former Sessions has usually allow'd of; I assure myself,
that you will carry with you thither the same Zeal for
the publick Good, with which you have been animated in
Parliament; and that you will make it your Business to
discountenance any Remains there may be yet left of Sedition or Disaffection, and to promote that perfect Harmony and Confidence between me and my People, which
"I most earnestly desire, and on which our mutual Happiness entirely depends."
The Parliament prorogued.
Then the Lord Chancellor prorogu'd the Parliament to
the 4th of June: They were afterwards farther prorogued to
the 12th of November.