Thursday, November 4.
[Debate in the House.]
Sir William Coventry.] An unhappy thing (fn. 1) fell out,
the last Session, at the Grand Committee, and the necessity and expediency of the thing bore out the Speaker's
irregular coming to the Chair, though 'twas then excepted
against, and we not agreeing yesterday, gentlemen desired to settle a rule in the House, to proceed by at the
Committee—No man can tell you but that the Committee
can come to regular steps how to proceed, and till the
Commitee find a difficulty, 'tis not for private men to
take upon them your business, and report it out of the
hands of the Committee. From the reason why the
Grand Committee are not tied by rules of the House,
which admits not so frequent speaking—which every
man now being master of the matter by a thorough
Debate—And then the House is in a capacity to debate
thoroughly—Therefore to preserve Order, and though
occasion to resort to the House is necessary, (for else you
report and take it out of their hands, contrary to the
intention of the Committee)—therefore 'tis necessary that
you leave the Chair.
Mr Sawyer.] The difference is very plain—What
is resolved is reported by the Chairman, but, for any obstruction at the Committee, 'tis necessary it should come
from a private gentleman. Misdemeanors and obstructions
at Committees, private gentlemen may inform you of.
Consider farther, that the Question arises from the interpretation of your Order. How can they interpret
your Order, when they are divided in opinion? They
have mistaken your Order, and shall not a man inform
the House of it? Therefore 'tis not only the duty of
the House to explain the Order, but there is a necessity.
But, 'tis said, "An Order made yesterday, was not the
same objection made yesterday"—After the House is possessed of the Debate, you must put the Question, whether they will proceed in the Debate.
Mr Vaughan.] It must be resolved at a Committee,
before it can come to you, else every particular man
may start up, and so no end of business.
Sir Winston Churchill.] Stands up to demand his own
right, as a Member, to vote freely. 'Tis said, "That
we should be all reporters, at this rate:" But what is
prayed, is to explain the Order of the House to the
Committee. If twenty ships be not complete—'Tis an
unreasonable thing for him to strain "Hulls" to "Ships,"
if not explained. Therefore prays to explain your own
Sir Thomas Lee.] He told you he thought the House
was for ships. Has not the same gentleman liberty to
propose a greater sum, if he pleases, towards them?
By his argument, he will bring the thing into the House,
before it has been at the Committee.
Sir John Duncombe] After you came to the sum
280,000l. you came to a Question, Whether the ships were
provided for fully by that sum? But 'twas said, "that
was for Hulls only," and that began the Debate.
'Twas not to limit the sum, but that your money should
not be diverted—He can only speak his own sense, and
could not understand it any way but for "Hulls," and
thought it a sum this House might proceed upon. He
meant the Vote so, and thinks the House did, "twenty
ships, built and fitted."
The Speaker.] It being desired of the House to interpret the Order, moves that it should do so, and
Sir Nicholas Carew.] The case, as put by Duncombe,
is not, whether you will build ships, but whether you
will give 600,000l.
Sir John Duncombe.] Because he has changed his opinion from thirty ships to twenty, wonders it should be
so inferred upon him—He took the measure of what
those ships would cost—He moved "twenty ships"
fairly, and that they should be "hulled and equipped."
Serjeant Maynard.] Whatever the Committee votes is
not to be concluded finally resolved; it must come to
you, and 'tis now brought to you. When there is an
ambiguity of "Hulls" only, or "fitted out," to
save your time, you ought to explain it by a Question.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Sees that the word "Ship,"
whether it may mean and intend "Guns and Stores,"
is the Question; because he has heard these words mentioned. The word "Ship" may, or may not, intend
"Stores and Guns." If it may, 'tis fair to go to the
Committee; if it may not intend so, then you go to
vote a new thing, a new charge; which if you can do,
before it has been at a Committee, and brought by
them to you, 'tis altogether new; and farther, before we
part with our money, we may speak more than once.
Two words to a bargain. He takes the Question to be,
whether the Speaker shall leave the Chair, or not leave
Sir Robert Holmes.] Is willing to see "Hulls" and
would be glad to see "Ships" finished. The Vote is
a good brave Vote, but you thought not then to put
"Ships" before "Hulls; nor Hulls—"and stop there--He
finds, whoever builds Hulls must be at as great a charge
for other materials as for Hulls, and sees not how you can
come up to your Vote, unless you provide masts, sails,
cables, standing and running rigging. He therefore
moves to double the sum for your materials, and bring
them to your Hulls.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The dilemma may be,
and may not be, both; the nature of all words of a
double sense; as this does mean either of them, and can
be explained no where but in the House, from whence
Sir Tho. Meres.] If it may mean it, as well as not,
he says, then it may mean it.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] He takes it in one sense,
and Meres in another—Would know in what sense the
House means it, where the word first began.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The word began in the Committee,
and it was possessed of it. Pray know the Committee's
Mr Piercy Goring.] Would have no tricks put upon
ourselves, nor cheats upon the nation. We intend ships
serviceable for defence. He that is not a friend to both,
is a friend to neither. Building of ships, and not
making them useful, is like those who declared for
defence of the King and Kingdom in the late times of
rebellion. (That expression gave offence.)
Lord Cavendish.] When the Vote was for twenty
ships, they were intended serviceable; else, so much
money is thrown away. And we throw away the nation's money, when we give, and there is sufficient to
Mr Waller, who sat on the steps, upon the Speaker's calling to
him to sit in his place, said] Cuts are made in the seats for steps here
in the House. He knows that in the Long Parliament, steps were
seats, and seats were steps, as in an amphitheatre. The Rump
put backs to our seats, and the steps, now new made, were
seats; and he desires there may be some Order made in it, if
steps must not be seats.
Sir Tho. Meres.] It interrupts all Debates—If one speaks not
to your liking, Mr Speaker, they are no seats, or seats as you
please. He holds that the steps are no seats.
Sir William Coventry.] Thinks that the thing is not so light.
The greatest misfortune that ever was like to befall us, last session,
at a Committee, was about these seats. There was a doubt
whether a gentleman was told twice. There was then a doubt,
and there may be a doubt, and it had like at that time to have
been fatal. Would have a Question about it.
Sir Tho. Meres.] A man ought not to be disquieted in his
seat. A man may be disquieted in this passage, therefore 'tis no
Mr Swynfin.] If this be, you will lose all your labour at a Grand Committee. The first occasion of this
was from the King's Speech. The expression in it, of
"money to build ships." The consideration of it you referred to a Committee, which was "building of ships,"
who proceeded with great care several days. 'Tis said,
"that by ships" "rigging, stores, guns and tackle are
now meant." But to his best understanding no gentleman
said any thing of "stores, guns, or tackle," when the
several rates were mentioned. But the words were taken
as barely delivered to you. If it was intended, was it
not then a proper time to have said it? Nay, to tell you
what is meant now—Was this ever explained, or desired to be explained, at the Committee? The Committee did not at all doubt the meaning of it; their
affirmative might else have been expressed. But in a
contract between man and man, the shipwright, by so
many "ships," means "his work" only, but not "tackle and rigging, guns, &c." being things not of his
profession. In the sense of the law, he would take these
words upon contract. He sees we shall equally divide
in senses. Those that would have words so understood, would have this a new charge, otherwise we
shall engage in a blind bargain. Most of us understood
not that charge. Therefore would refer it to the Committee to consider what sum of money we shall give to
answer the King's desires for building Ships.
Mr Waller.] You will never set us right, but by a
Question. The Question is now about the Order of
the House, "Whether we shall send it back to the
Committee." The doubt of the Committee is to be
determined at the Committee. If this be Order, always
a fortiori. Here in this case, 'tis matter of supply,
and by a standing Order the Committee is the place to
name it in, not here, else you break the standing Order.
The sum named at a Committee may be determined
there, and, by Order, no where else.
Col. Birch.] 'Tis visible to him, there are not so many
ships wanting, but some would have them "clothed and
fitted." He thinks it will prejudice the business itself. For, it may be, the Committee will go farther
than is already proposed. 'Tis orderly to go to a Committee.
Sir William Coventry.] Does acknowledge that, by the
Debate, he believes the House has a mind to determine
the Order. He knows not whether it is his luck to be
understood rightly, but intends fairly. To give new directions, an Order may be apprehended, that if the
thing be abstruse, and may file off from some outdoors information, some may take advantage, and say it
needs explication, and it may be of dangerous consequence.
On the other hand, there is some apprehension that there
lay an obligation from the signification of the words "rigging, &c." though the Committee came not to a result,
and as forarguing as if the desires of some were totally to
cut off all that, he is one that thought it did not put that
obligation upon us, and desired less to strain things on
one another, and have better effect of what is desired—
Another thing—He would not be prejudged by what
he said either way, but would have gentlemen understand it a little farther. The rigour of the words causes
these apprehensions—As if words laid no obligation upon us—So the Committee is at liberty to debate it. But to proceed by a trick, to say one thing
in the House, and another thing at the Committee, forfeits his reputation. All that is asked of the House by
the King is referred to a Committee. The prudential
part goes on with the strictness of the letter of demand.
The Committee is not excluded the prudential part.
He is not of opinion to provide ships never to come off
from the stocks. Will any man advise you to launch the
ships from the stocks, before they have cables and anchors, to ride by? 'Tis the prudence of the intention
not to have ships to build, when war is declared, and
the same prudence will lead the House—He will likewise
move to do the rest. If still it should fall out at the
Committee worse than gentlemen would have it, it must
at last come to the House, and believes there will be
faster dispatch at the Committee than here, because freed
from the fear of an inroad into breach of Privilege, and
Order of the House. For instance—If some moved
8 and some 900 ton, the House interposed not, whether 8 or 900, but to settle the Order. As soon as that
was done, the Committee was melted, and did not
mind how cheap—The night before we talked of 900—
We gave it all. You shall find him the same man
at the Committee as in the House. Try us and go into
a Committee; the House is master of all.
The Question being put, Whether the House would give any
farther instruction to the Committee, it passed in the negative
163 to 157.
The House then resolved into a Grand Committee. Sir
John Trevor in the Chair.
Sir William Coventry.] We shall have an account,
at our next meeting, of what is spent upon these ships;
and he confidently believes that no man in the House will
fall short of supplying the King farther, in case of any
war, or other emergency.
Mr Pepys.] From the success of the methods he has
taken, he is encouraged to think, he shall have acceptance
of what he shall now propose. In the account he gave,
he never meant "victuals," nor ever meant "men."
This he says, that you may be free, and without apprehension of great sums in reserve. On presumption
that the "Hulls" are admitted, will offer you no more
for "rigging and sails" than 70,000l. There remain
"guns," and requisites to them, as "carriages," &c.
and so if you please to determine whether "brass" or
"iron guns," or some "iron nailed in," an invention of
Prince Rupert's of the same goodness and strength with
brass guns, he shall be able to give you their value.
Sir William Coventry.] Pepys proposes 70,000l. for
"tackle"—Supposes he means such sufficient stores as
the ship may stav abroad with a reasonable time, and
do service. Would willingly know whether the Committee intends to fit these ships for hand strokes—Buying
guns is the great matter. Iron guns are 60l. per ton
of the new invention, and the other sort 20l. per ton.
He has been told that iron guns, of the ordinary fabric,
are less in value, but whole cannon more. Demy
cannon, and under, are of most consequence. Cannon
is of great weight to the decks, and more charge. 'Tis
his opinion to adhere to the old sort of guns, and
you save almost a thousand pound by it. The old ones
will cost 37,000l. He has seen the new way of guns,
and there is great probability of them; but would not
put the nation to the hazard of an invention. Was once
told of an invention for boiling of water with much less
fuel than is commonly used. The Brewers catched at
it, and agreed for it; and a tryal was appointed, and
a cauldron provided. The inventor's notion was to have
a fire made in the midst of the water, which would sooner
heat it. A great pipe was placed in the middle of the
diameter, and a fire was made in the pipe, and the
water boiled. All said, it was an admirable invention;
but an old brewer said, "The invention seems good,
but he would try in the bottom of the cauldron, whether the water boiled there or no." But there the
water was cold. This has still given him apprehensions
of new inventions. He has heard of an armourer at
the Hague, who had found out an excellent way of tempering iron for defence and lightness, and the arms
musket-proof. And, upon tryal, they were proof indeed,
but the temper wore out in a year or two, and would
not perform what they did at first. This invention of
guns may probably be good, but cannot learn any
thing of their tryal in battle by knocks, and heating,
and cooling, which is not to be known till tried. Old
guns we know, and he would make preparation of guns
of that nature.
Mr Sacheverell.] Apprehended that when he had
voted "building of ships," no talk would have been
of "building guns." Let a sum be named.
Sir William Coventry.] Since it is not done, he offers
it. Pepys said 110,000l. guns and all; but in that
proportion, 'tis not necessary; nor yet fit to provide sails
and tackle, unless for the rats and mice. Many gentlemen cannot keep their cloaths from them—"Whole
cannon" beginning to be declined as not thought so
useful! But in consideration of humanity to ourselves,
for our refreshment, having sat so long, he will once
do a bold thing he never did, will name 110,000 l. to
do all to the full in a round sum, and would speak once
for all—Moves "That the whole may be 300,000 l.
for these ships."
Sir Nicholas Carew.] He thinks this to be a great
sum, the poverty of the nation considered. You must
think of how many ships are already on the stocks, not
finished, which will be reckoned into the number of
these twenty we give. Then, if so, all that money will
be refunded, and the King receive it again. Therefore
considering the poverty of the Nation, and the appropriating the Customs to the use of the Navy, though
the sum is moved high, yet seconds it, "not exceeding
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Would not have the Customs
forgotten too much, to let that Money slip; the proper
Money for this purpose. Therefore on condition the
residue of the work may be done out of the Customs,
by this way both these being done, you may have a
fleet, and to the end they may go together, he is for
Mr Pepys.] As for ships upon the stocks, the KingFisher, that one ship, and that only, is upon the stocks.
To take away the jealousy, be pleased to receive this
one word more. As for the "sails," he denies it not
to be a work of greater time for providing them; but
for the "canvass," four fifths must be from abroad.
Vitry and Merlaix canvass must be for the grosser part
of the sails. There is the same reason for providing
"shot" as well as "guns," and pray consider it.
Sir John Ernly.] As for iron guns, brass guns indeed cost
more, but in the last fight 500 iron guns broke, and
cost some mens lives. If you provide not brass nor
nailed guns, there will be great disadvantage in iron—
Would have one third part of the guns brass, or
Mr Powle.] We cannot make a right state of this
without an account of the Customs, and, if they had
been applied to the use of the Navy, this charge had not
been asked now. You were told that the established
summer-guard came to 250,000l. for six months with
6000 men; 100,000l. in time of peace—Whether ordnance and other charges out of the Customs—Tripoly
60,000l. Looks upon that still as time of peace, because in war this House is consulted—He thinks less
than 300,000l. might have served at this time, but
because that sum is moved, he complies with it.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Till appropriating the Customs
be done, he shall never believe it. 'Tis no new charge
on the Crown; it is on the Customs—The Revenue was
ours, and upon every anticipation must be ours—We are
not inclinable to punish; we cannot look back, but he
would take care for the future—This is still the money
that this House gives, and without the Customs annexed he cannot agree to the Question.
Mr Pepys.] Would have you come to the Question,
without mistakes, but consider of the building these
twenty ships, and their guns—So that he can never give
his consent for 300,000l. which will cost you more.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] Some say 60, and some 70,000l.
for stores. He wonders what the money has been employed in. We are told also of "gunners stores;" we
shall hear of "victuals" and other things hereafter.
Mr Pepys.] Bullets and stores will amount to 45,000l.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Let them find it elsewhere,
whose it is—The Customs were given for constant expence of the Navy, but when there is any extraordinary,
from causes visible and inevitable, as decay of the fleet,
they cannot be supplied by the ordinary expence. If
the House gives no more supply now, than what will fit
the "Hulls," let the Question be put; but if that be
not a fit Question, then to the other part, which the House
was moved in, "for full equipage, ground and running
tackle, and guns, &c." computed for from the gentlemen that understand the Navy.
Mr Vaughan.] They say it is not enough for these
ships, but he is sure it is too much for us to pay.
Sir Thomas Lee.] The ordinary Revenue is for ordinary occasions of the Crown. But what is become of
the extraordinary aids? He thinks this supply is proportionable for building twenty ships—He thinks the latter part of the Question is nothing, but saving the people of England from this charge every Session. If the
ships must have finer painting and gilding, or guns
extraordinary, let it be out of the Customs; 'twill be
a good saving to an ill Question.
Sir John Duncombe.] He hears no body except against
these calculations given in by Pepys. 'Tis not "gilding, nor painting" not this, nor t'other, but so much
money to equip so many ships as you have given—
Therefore moves for 380,000l.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] He that can calculate strongly,
leaves nothing behind, as he that asserts strongly. 'Tis
often repeated what you have given, but all has been
to the King's proper use. He has not 1,200,000l.
constant revenue, besides the additional duty upon wines.
The parting with the Court of Wards is not considered:
He would not have mens reasons captivated with such assertions, and not consider the King's capacity. The
money was given to pay his debts. This repeating
what has been given the King, leads him into the consideration of what has been done by the King, to have
that also considered. He is for that sum and no more than
will do, according to the computation brought before us.
Sir Edward Dering.] This is a great sum, and not to
be parted with, without consideration. There is not
a freeholder in England, but knows our safety, and all
depends upon it. Iron guns recoil, and instead of doing execution on the enemy, do it on ourselves. So
that in the whole it will come to 380,000l.
Sir William Coventry.] The business of those that sent
us hither is to be desended, and that done the cheapest
way. For the sum he proposed, he hoped for a concurrence, but, as for that one thing of guns, he has heard
iron guns are better for service. The bursting them is
by shots hitting on them, and other accidents, not by
shooting. He meant by that sort of guns such as
are of known experience, iron guns of 20l. per ton.
Demy cannon, you were told, is at 17l. per ton,
and the small guns at 14 and 15l. per ton. Is there no
abatement then in 12l. per ton? Sail is capable of spoil,
and not of improvement, 'tis confessed; and you are told,
"that as for canvass, it must be had abroad, at Morlaix, and
Vitry." But the best canvass, in his time, was Hollands
doubles, and in the West Country they make so equally
good of that sort, that the officers of the Customs would
not let it come in, as English canvass, because 'twas so
good. He has been told that there is now so many
of these canvass works on foot as fully to supply the
Navy. So that what may be abated in the price of
guns the sum proposed will plentifully provide for
the present occasion.
Mr Sacheverell.] Is one of those who must pay his
share of this money, and one of those who would have
some recompence for it. Would not have our money
taken, and give us nothing. Would have the appropriating of the Customs annexed, or he shall not give his
vote for one farthing; and this Bill to be so altered, and
not to be brought in, till the good and necessary Bills we
have in hand be also passed here. We have many good
Bills in hand; and when Money is once given, then
nothing is done, and no redress. Therefore would put that
part of the Question, else he'll give never a penny of
Sir William Coventry.] Another time and place must
be for the addition to the Question moved for. Put the
Question, "for twenty ships, not exceeding 300,000l.
for rigging and furnishing thereof." The latter words
are not in your commission, nor authority.
Sir George Downing.] The King's Grants are construed, in all Courts, in as full and ample manner as
may be, for the benefit of the Grantee; and he would
have us do so in this Question.
The Question being put, at the Committee, That 300,000l.
be voted for the building, rigging, and towards the furnishing
twenty ships, it passed in the affirmative.
[November the 5th, Gunpowder plot.]
Saturday, November 6.
Report was made from the Grand Committee, by Sir John
Trevor, of the rates and valuations of the twenty ships, and the
money agreed upon for setting them out, &c.
Mr Mallet.] When a sum is reported to the House,
agreed upon at the Grand Committee, 'tis against Order
to make any addition to that sum. The Question must
only be, "Agree, or disagree."
Sir William Coventry.] He may move to disagree, and
to re-commit it; but cannot move for an additional sum.
The Speaker.] The House is not bound up by any
Order. 'Tis an orderly motion, to move for an addition.
Sir Thomas Meres.] The Speaker is right in every
point but Money. If it be the opinion of the majority
of the House for Money, he'll show where you may
have it, but not without two Questions. But before we
come to the Committee again, would fight it out in the
House. And now would agree with the Committee;
agree, agree, agree.
Sir Robert Holt, Proffering several times to speak, and
others being called up, said,] He wonders a Knight of
Warwickshire may not be heard as well as another.
Sir Thomas Lee, reflectively upon him, said,] A man
that is outlawed after judgment cannot sit here (fn. 2) ; and
knows then no occasion why a Knight of Warwickshire
should be heard.
Col. Birch.] Believes the Knight of Warwickshire will
tell you, 'tis the sense of his county to give more Money.
Sir Robert Holt.] Is for raising a sufficient sum of Money; and has discoursed with several knowing persons
in the Navy, who assure him that this sum will not serve
for the purpose you intend it; and knows it to be the
opinion of the most substantial freeholders of that county,
that they would have the King be sufficiently supplied as
to these ships, which this sum will not do—Therefore
moves for more.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Would re-commit it, upon
the Debate of the sum not being sufficient for what you
intend to do. To pass this Vote of agreeing, is to make
the first Vote useless, and to contradict it, which was
"for twenty ships fully fitted for service." This Vote
sufficiently declares, that you have not done what you
meant—And that thing not being done, this matter being
so public, so fundamental, so wholly the nation's concern,
and so little any man's else, if he was irregular in his first
motion, does move then to re-commit it.
Sir Richard Temple.] Would remove one mistake—
'Tis said, "it is not lawful to mention any sum here that
he would have." If he mention the sum debated at the
Committee,'tis without breach of Order—We have done
something towards it, but not the thing itself—The Vote
speaks itself. It has done towards it, but not the thing
itself. Would not have it said, that the work goes not
on, because you will not be at the cost of it. If this
sum will not do it, where is the wisdom to profess you
will do it, and not come up to it? The ground of all the
miscarriages was, when you gave the King money to pay
his debts, and did not express it; so that the money was
not laid out to that end.
Mr Leveson Gower.] 'Tis said, "that the money will
not do the work it is intended for." If the Committee
sit upon this nest-egg, it may produce chickens when
the House shall come to sit upon it. Therefore would
agree with the Committee.
Sir George Downing.] Speaks only to Order. This
Vote of the Committee is against the Order of the House.
The Committee passed a Vote for "twenty ships;" and
you made it your Vote, "that they should be built with
all convenient speed." Then another Vote the Committee
made, "for money to build these ships only." Then it
was moved to explain what was meant by "building
only;" and the Committee, without any explanation, say,
"That this sum is for building, and towards guns,
tackle, &c." which is quite against your Order.
Sir Edward Dering.] Is one of those who voted for
twenty ships, and the Committee comes not up in the
Vote of money to these twenty. We have brought
them up to dimensions, which must be strengthened, according to the number. You have voted guns of the
worst fort; and since you have voted the best ships,
would have the best furniture for them. In our calculations we have not mentioned "Stores;" which were not
spoken of till the sum was voted. Would therefore bring
the sum up to 80,000l. more, to make the work complete.
Mr Veughan.] He has not spoken yet, because he can
say nothing, but agree with the Committee. This sum
voted is too great already; therefore does not agree to
that, but agrees with the Committee.
Mr Pepys.] 'Tis not much he shall now offer. That
the 300,000l. is not enough, he can show to any man
that will contend it. It seems hard that the words
should have one signification, when the King speaks
to us, and another, when we speak to him. For instance, tonnage and poundage is granted the King "for
building ships." He appeals whether that Money is
only meant "for Hulls." It is not the King's construction of it. Now since the Vote itself confesses that
the sum is not enough, moves that you will not countenance the King's doing less than you have voted the
Mr Papillon.] A man is perfectly cloathed, though he
has not three shirts, or three coats on. A ship is fitted, though it has not three suits of sails. But 'tis
truly said, that in war we must have more, but we are
not now in war, and the doing more will be anticipating
of Money. If the King engages in a war, he will consult you for four times as many cables and anchors.
The Question, it seems, is, Whether we shall provide
now as in war. Many of these provisions are wasting
and decaying, as sails, and cables; and, as for the Navy,
would not have that lie by—Therefore would agree.
Sir Lionel Jenkins.] He will give you an account of
his notion of "building Hulls." One is metaphorical,
and the other is of literal and primary import. In a covenant, a man may do so and so, but consider the general
word, in latitude of law, it gives it such a building as
is complete. 'Tis no perfect building else. Merchants
ships are arrested in the whole ship, guns and all. The
Vote of twenty ships will make a great noise. If you
derogate from it, you derogate also from your reputation.
'Tis a rule in time of peace, to prepare for war. He
offers therefore to your consideration the danger of this
work lower than you have voted. Governments stand
most upon reputation. In the agony of war, 'tis too
late, if you defer it, to consult the honour of the nation. You do nothing in this, but for your own honour
and reputation. Therefore moves for an addition to
Sir Thomas Lee.] Is not well informed, and therefore would know, whether, in case "a ship" be left a
man, by will, and have no guns, the executor be
bound to put guns into the ship, if there were none before, and whether, if the King press a merchant-ship,
and she have no guns, the owner is bound to find
Sir Edmund Jennings.] A gentleman said, the other
day, "he could demonstrate, as clear as the Sun, that
the revenue, as now, was sufficient to do this business."
If he can do it, why does he not? If he cannot do it, let
him tell us so.
Mr Finch.] The reasonableness of the addition to the
sum, and the method of it, is the subject-matter of the
Debate. He will not pretend to argue the point of law,
between the two gentlemen. We are not arguing with
the King—Let us not distinguish ourselves out of our
safety. Twenty ships, and not fitted to go to sea, is a
contradiction to your first Vote. The Vote of the Committee being but "for and towards, &c." we have
fallen from conveniency to what is absolutely necessary,
and now we are dwindling yet less—The thing is reasonable, and he would have the Speaker put us into a
Sir William Coventry.] The objection is upon the
word "towards." If gentlemen are desirous to have
the word "towards" out of the Question, he is willing it should—Has his particular concern in this business. Because of the sum is much concerned, and is
exceeding fearful left, if we go to a Committee again, we
should be thought over-lavish of the people's Money, and
possibly the King may have the less by it. On the grounds
the Committee then went, he sincerely believes the
sum rather lavish than short.
Mr Pepys.] He should be the last man in the world
to question Coventry's sincerity—Interrupted by
Sir Thomas Meres.] Pepys has been heard three times
over. Pray give your opinion of the two Professors,
Coventry and Pepys. Pray put the Question, whether
Pepys shall be heard again, and he shall give his negative.
Sir William Coventry.] Rises up to desire that Pepys
may have leave to speak again, and hopes Pepys will do
as much for him.
The Speaker.] He never saw that a man was denied
to set the House right in matters of fact.
Mr Pepys.] Rises to compare Coventry's measures and
his, his profession and mine—Thinks our sincerities
Sir Philip Warwick.] Has great value for what these
two persons say. They are men of knowledge and
sincerity. He has ever been of opinion, that what you
do, for your own safety, will be acceptable to the people, to provide for war in time of peace. The King
would think it his duty to the nation, if he had the sole
doing it without you, to spend 400,000l. on these
ships. But he would much rather agree, than put things
to this dispute.
Sir Charles Harbord.] Is informed that there is no
man of skill in these things, but will say, that furnishing the ship is double the value of the Hulls. If
he sent a servant, or son, to sea, would send them in
ships safe for them to go in.
Sir John Talbot.] Whenever you agree on the precise sum, 'twill lead to a monthly tax, otherwise it will
be uncertain. 300,000l. at the rate of monthly tax,
comes to 68,000l. per mensem. If a five months tax, it
comes to 347,097l. 12 s.
Mr Sacheverell.] A quarter of the tax for the royal
aid, for seventeen months, does it.
Mr Sawyer.] There is a building of ships, when
carpenters are said to build ships, and when the nation
builds. The word "towards," is derogatory to the
other part of the Vote. If it be not sufficient, it must
come to a recommitment.
On the Question, the House agreed with the Committee,
that one first rate, measuring 1400 tons; five second rates, measuring one with another 1100 tons; and fourteen third rates,
measuring one with another 900 tons, should be built; and
that 14l. per ton be allowed for building the first rate, 12l.
10 s. per ton, for each of the second, and 9l. 10 s. per ton for
each of the third rates.
Resolved, on a division 176 to 150, That this House doth
agree, with the Committee, that a supply be raised, not exceeding the sum of 300,000l. for the building, and towards the
guns, rigging, and other furnishing of the said twenty ships (fn. 3) .
Resolved, That the 300,000l. be raised by Land Tax, in
eighteen months, at 17004l. 17 s. 2 d. per mensem; which comes
to as much more of the 300,000l, as will defray the charges of
[The House adjourned, on a division 163 to 141.]