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from representing to the House the dis- parochial relief, or to worse and more untress which they feel as a body, in a much justifiable courses, and instead of contriseverer degree than most of their fellow buting by their usual labours to the wealth subjects, occasioned, as it appears to the of the nation, only multiply the heavy Petitioners, by a perseverance in that sys- burdens and distresses to which those tem of commercial regulations known un- of the Petitioners are subjected who are der the name of the British Orders in not yet reduced to the same deplorable Council, adopted and pursued ever since condition ; and praying the House to the year 1807, and at the same time ex- take these facts into their most serious pressing to the House a doubt, which the consideration, and adopt such measures, Petitioners very sensibly feel, how those tending either to rescind or modify the measures can iend to promote the na- aforesaid Orders in Council or otherwise, tional security, which, after so long a trial, as the House in their wisdom shall deem produce nothing but ruin-to the national best calculated to restore and preserve the commerce; and that their houses and trade of the United Kingdom, and in parwarehouses are stored with goods pre- ticular to open and establish our compared for foreign markets to which they merce with the whole continent of Amehave no access; when the ports of Europe rica.” were shut to our manufactures, they con- Ordered to lie upon the table. soled themselves with the fruits of their trade to America, and since the interrup- MOTION RESPECTING COLONEL M-MAtions that have happened to the extensive Hon's BEING APPOINTED Private SECREcommerce previously carried on between TARY THE Prince Regent.) Mr. that country and this, they have endea- C. W. Wynn rose, pursuant to notice, to deavoured to find markets for their goods move for the production of the Appointelsewhere; but collectively their endea- ment of colonel M‘Mahon to the new ofvours and their enterprizes prove vain fice of Private Secretary to his royal highand fruitless, large stocks of manufactured ness the Prince Regent. When he first goods remain on hand, their capitals are gave notice of his intention to make this locked up in commodities, for the sale of motion, he little thought that he should which the proper markets are shut against have been called upon to go into the subthem, and their industry is paralized; and ject in detail. He had imagined, that it that the number of bankruptcies and insol. was as much a motion of course as that vencies that have recently taken place in which he had a few minutes ago submitted old commercial bouses of well-established to the House; but he now found that it credit and extensive dealings, as well as was to be resisted; on what ground it those of lesser note, are the effect, and the was impossible for him to conceive. He evidence also, of the ruinous consequences should have thought, that this was a case, of the British Orders in Council, for, until which of all others rendered it necessary they were acted upon, the commercial that the subject should be regularly before Decrees of the French government were the House, that it might receive a formal harmless to the Petitioners; if other evi- and deliberate consideration. The office dence be needful, they appeal to the fact was a new one: There was no precedent of the great reduction within the last four for it in the history of the public acts of years in the number of master manufac- this country. Such an office might, iniurers in the said riding, a class of men deed, have privately existed for a few whose active employment of a small capi- years back, from the necessity of the case; tal, aided by their own personal skill and but in the constitutional history of this industry, has essentially contributed to country there had never been any thing raise and establish a competition, and a like it. Under these circumstances, when spirit of enterprize and exertion in the such an appointment had for the first whole body of merchants and manufac- time been publicly avowed, surely it was turers which has so long secured the pre- but just and reasonable that the House of ference to British woollens in every foreign Commons should have that appointment market, and that the distress and ruin of formally before them, that they might so many master manufacturers, added to perform their duty iu examining into the the general stagnation of trade, have matter, and expressing their opinion whethrown out of employ great numbers of ther it was fitting or not that such an office the labouring class of manufacturers, should exist. He never recollected that many of whom are thereby driven to seek such a motion under such circumstances had been resisted. Nothing more was at secrelary of this kind. When the house present required than the production of of Brunswick came to the throne -when the appointment in question. Was it be- George the 1st came to this country, a coming that this should be refused ?--that stranger to our language, if at any time they should be prevented from discussing the appointment of such a secretary was a subject which most peculiarly called for reasonable, surely it was at that time: attention in the regular and proper man. yet George the Ist had no such secretary. ner, because a minister chose to deny But it was hardly necessary to go farther them the regular document? Yet certain back than the reign of his present Majesit was, that notwithstanding the novelty of ty. They all knew how he had attended this appointment, the uncertainty as to to public business till the period of his its exact nature and duties,—and ihe pro- unfortunate illness. He had probably priety of an examination into the matter paid a more rigid attention to business by the House of Commons, they knew than any of his predecessors. No apnothing more about it than what they pointment, however trifling, was made learned from the Gazette, namely,“ That without taking his pleasure upon it. From colonel M‘Mahon had been appointed pri- the expiration of the American war to the vate secretary to his royal highness the commencement of the present one, he Prince Regent;" and what they heard had acted not only as a king but as a comfrom the right hon. the Chancellor of the mander in chief; his pleasure having Exchequer, namely, " That the duties of been always previously taken by the se. the office in question were those of a pri- cretary at war upon every commission vate secretary.” From a suggestion across granted in the army. From the situation the table, he understood it was to be said, which he once officially held, he knew that no regular appointment to this office that there were in the home department had been made out,--that there was no- several notes of his Majesty, proving how thing but a Minute of Treasury for the much attention he had paid to the public payment of the salary. If that was really business; every act and appointment hav. the case, it was an additional objection to ing been submitted to him, not nominally, the proceeding. If the office was to be but really for the purpose of his exercising constituted at all, it ought to be done in an a judgment upon it. Yet, amidst all this open and public manner, that the country multiplicity of business, no one had ever might at any rate have some person to thought of appointing a secretary of this whose responsibility they might look. kind to his Majesty, till the unfortunate Here, again, he might be met with the complaint which led to the appointment appointment of colonel Taylor: but his of colonel Taylor. At last, then came answer was, that the appointment of the appointment of colonel Taylor; and colonel Taylor was only justified by the they had to consider whether that formed necessity of the case. This was an en
any precedent for the present office contirely different matter. It could not ferred upon colonel M.Mahon.
Were surely be pretended that the circum- the circumstances the same ? Every stances were at all similar. But what one knew they were totally different. really was this office? What was the The appointment of colonel Taylor was nature of the holder's situation? Was he the consequence of, and arose from the to be a cabinet-minister,'or a mere clerk or deprivation of sight to which his Majesty amanuensis ? From any information that was subjected. He was so blind as not to had been given on the subject, he was to
be able to read the communications of tally at a loss to know which of them. his ministers. It became necessary to But where was the use of such an appoint provide some remedy for this inconvement? Did the circumstances of the pre- nience, and the appointment in question sent times render it peculiarly necessary? had been consequently adopted, as the Let the House only look at the history of most expedient plan. But it never had the country. King William the third was been imagined that this office was to be the soul the prime manager and mover made a precedent for others of the kind, of the confederacy existing in his reign under circumstances altogether different. for the preservation of the liberty of Eu- If ever this could have been believed, rope. He, besides, sat in his own cabinet; the appointment of Col. Taylor would unscrutinized every department of the state; questionably have been more particularly brought every transaction under his own noticed: and, indeed, when the appoint. eye; yet king William had no private ment was known to have been made, and alluded to in that House, he recollected , surely it was not intended that the private that there appeared to be a feeling on secretary should sign the Regent's name both sides, that since soch an office had be- to these commissions. If the labour was come necessary, it would have been better really too burthensome, it might be lightto have made it a public and responsible ened by an expedient which had at a forone. ' But this feeling was suppressed for mer period been adopted. The sovereign the moment, from a regard to the wishes might execute a warrant empowering the of his majesty, who was unwilling to ex. commander in chief to sign as many compose his situation, and jealous of having missions as were to appear in the Gazette his infirmity brought too much under the on one occasion. This had, indeed, heen public eye. For this reason many of recommended before to his present Mathose who thought the nature of the ap. jesty; but for the reasons before stated, pointment ought to have been considered the plan had been rejected. His Majesty by parliament, refrained from urging the had been averse to do any thing that might matter at that time; but if they had con bring his infirmity more under the obser. ceived that this could have been made vation of the public than was absolutely any ground for the present appointment, indispensable.' But where was now the they would probably have acted different. reason against the adoption of this exly. Where, he would again ask, was the pedient? Where was the necessity for a necessity for this office? King William private secretary to read to his Royal Highhad no such secretary! King George the ness the communications of his ministers? first had no such secretary! And why His Royal Highness resided in London, had they not? Because the Secretary of the ministers had an opportunity of daily State for the Home Department was the consultation with him. There was no King's private secretary, and it was the bu- need for a private secretary to communisiness of the Secretary of State to wait on cate the result of their deliberations and his Majesty, and take his pleasure with re- their advice. He was anxious to be disgard to the business of his situation. Such tinctly informed, for it was a matter of no had been the usual course; such had been slight importance, whether it was really the course under his present Majesty, until to be permitted, that the communications the period of his malady; and even at that of the cabinet council to the sovereign period, it would have been better if the should pass through any third person Secretary of State had daily attended his whatever. If this was the object, then it Majesty, and taken his pleasure on the bus became more particularly the duty of the siness of his office, without the interven- House to examine into the nature and detion of another person. Perhaps this plan sign of this appointment, and the consewould have been followed, had it not been quences with which it was likely to be atfor the dislike which his Majesty took to tended. He had no hesitation in saying, his London residence. Averse to remain that it was a most unconstitutional proin a situation where his infirmity would be ceeding, to allow the secrets of the counmore exposed to public view, he resolved to cil to pass through a third person; and he reside at Windsor; so that the office to perhaps, no counsellor. (Hear, hear, from which colonel Taylor had been appointed the Treasury bench.) He did not, weil became absolutely necessary. There was know how to understand that cheering: no alternative between this and the stoppage it might perhaps be said, that colonel of public business, unless a new secretary M-Mahon was a privy counsellor, (hear, of state had been appointed. But where near). Why, then, this only made the then, was the reason for the creation of matter so much the worse. By his secrethis new office at the present moment, with tary's oath, supposing him a mere clerk, a salary of 2,0001. a year? The right he would be boond faithfully to read the hon. gentleman opposite suggested that communications to his Royal Highness, and there was a great accumulation of business. faithfully to write whatever his Royal HighBut had it really accumulated so much ness should command. But in his characwithin these few years as to require the ter of privy counsellor, he was bound by creation of a new office, where no disabi- his oath to give his advice upon what he lity in his Royal Highness to execute that read. He (Mr. Wynn) if he were in such business was ever alleged ? “ Look at the a capacity should, in reading such comnumber of commissions in the army," it munications, feel himself bound to give was said : “ consider what a labour it is the best counsel he could upon the subject oven to sign them.” It might be so ; but to which they referred. But was it really fitting that the cabinet ministers should | pensate Col. M-Mahon for that of which have their advice to their sovereigo sub- he had been deprived in obedience to the
ject to the revision of his private secretary. sense of parliament? He would not enter If, indeed, it were acknowledged to be into the nature of the services of Col! consistent with the constitution of this M-Mahon; it was doubtless proper
that country, to have both an interior and they should be rewarded, but were the exterior cabinet, he could understand why places in the household of the Regent there should be a fourth secretary to carry caught at with such rapacious greediness the communications from one to the other. that nothing could be saved for a faithful If it were constitutional for the sovereign servant? Would not the privy purse suf, to have both an open ministry and a pri- fice, or if the salary were inadequate, could vate junta to carry on the government, not the place of equerry be subjoined ? such a secretary might be necessary to If both together were not sufficient, surely conduct the correspondence between other situations might have been discothese two bodies. If it were once allow. vered to fill up the measure of reward. ed to be regular for a general officer, rc- He was quite at a loss to imagine, on what turning from an important expedition, and solitary ground this appointment was restretiring from a situation of great responsi- ed, since it was neither authorized by the bility, to give in a private report to the constitution, nor justified by necessity. sovereign with a request not to shew it to The Prince Regent, with all the active vibis open advisers, then, indeed, there must gour of youth, and with none of the inbe a private secretary of this kind. If it firmities of his father, could require no was regular that the high offices of the such assistance as ministers seemed anxihousehold should be hawked about, by the ous to force upon him. He would rather menial servants and attendants of the crown have deferred these remarks until the -as it was possible they might be on some paper was laid upon the table, but since occasions-ihen he could conceive the his motion was to be resisted, he wished to use of such an office as this; though, even point out the danger that would be incurthen, he was satisfied there ought to be a red in such an attempt. He concluded by regular and formal appointment, that the moving, « That there be laid before the officer might be responsible. This was a House a copy of any Instrument, by which most important view of the subject, and the right hon. John M.Mahon has been one which deserved the most serious at- appointed Private Secretary to the Prince tention of the House.
Regent in the name and on the behalf of If the time at which the advisers of the his Majesty. Also for a copy of any Micrown had chosen to recommend this ille. nute of the Board of Treasury thereon, gal step were contemplated, it would be directing the payment of the salary atfound equally obnoxious. He would not tached to the same.' now enlarge on the present distresses of Lord Castlereagh said, that the hon, genthe country, (on which nearly all could tleman had raised this question to a degree speak with feeling, because nearly all felt,) of importance which could in no view benot because he feared the imputation that long to it. The hon. gentleman was not he was attempting to excite discontent, justified in describing the motion as one but because it was not called for. He des- which it was the intention of ministers to pised popular clamour as much as any resist, as his right hon. friend (the Chanman, but he entertained great respect for cellor of the Exchequer), had said, that he public opinion, and public opinion de had no objection to the production of the clared that at this period, least of all, document in question; but that the grounds should any addition be made to the vast on which those documents were sought expenditure of the country. Colonel for, formed the objection to their produce M'Mahon in the first instance, was named tion. For, if the object of the motion was to an office, the abolition of which, a Com- to ground an impeachment of the appointmittee of the House had strongly recom- ment upon them, without any view to the mended, and when parliament decided instrument under which it was made, furthat he should not retain it, the ingenuity ther than the production of it, he should of government had been directed to disco- certainly resist it, as he conceived that ap. ver a new office, at least objectionable in pointment necessary, under the circumthe next degree. What would the public stances which gave rise to it. The mere say of this but that a determination was minute of the Treasury which constituted evinced to create a place in order to com- the appointment could not be necessary (VOL. XXII.)
towards enabling the House 10 form any pass through those of colonel M'Mahon? judgment on the propriety or impropriety And yet no alarm existed on their account. of the appointment, but was moved for It was unfounded then to represent this only to found upon it a charge of crimi- appointment as that of a fourth secretary nation on the office itself, and to persuade of state; for it was merely furnishing his the House to take the necessary grounds Royal Highness with the means of peragainst the continuance of it. As the hon. forming those duties, which he was una gentleman however, had thought fit to able to administer himself; and he begged bring the question before the House, it the House to understand, that he consibehoved ministers to submit the grounds dered this office only as an instrument for upon which they conceived the appoint- carrying on the business of the country; ment stood with relation to the offices which brought him to the second part of which they held under the crown. It was his argument, whether this appointment certainly the duty of the sovereign to was necessary to enable the person exertake advice from the officers of the crown, cising the sovereign authority, to perform for which advice they were entirely re- the functions of his high office; for he sponsible; and he was perfectly prepared now supposed the appointment to be di. to concede the question, if there was any vested of all responsibility, for without circumstance atiached to the nature of this that there would be nothing to justify it appointment, which detracted in the in the view of parliament. He was not slightest degree from the responsibility of much convinced of the solidity of that part the ministers of the crown. 'If that case of the hon. gentleman's argument which were made out by the hon. gentleman, referred to the reigns of king William, and it was enough, and he should withdraw all of kings George the 1st and 2nd, nor did opposition. But the fact was, that the he think that the House would see much functions of this office had nothing in them analogy between those periods and the prewhich required responsibility ; and he sent. For his own part he was perfectly now declared to the House, That colonel prepared to admit, in the face of the M’Mahon was incapable of receiving his House, that he could not, by possibility, Royal Highness's commands in the con- transact all the business attached to the stitutional sense of the words, or of carry office he held (and he was not disposed to ing them into effect-and that the indivi- neglect it), wibout some assistance. He duals now exercising the functions of the was bound to attend that House from day ministers of the crown were alone respon- day, and he would find it impossible to sible.-With respect to the nature of the carry on the functions of his situation, if appointment, he conceived that a Treasury he were bound to have personal access to minute was as effectual as a patent or any the sovereign every time that his orders other; and as to the oath of office as a were necessary to give effect to acts of privy counsellor being so extensive in its state. But when the hon. gentleman nature, as represented by the hon. gentle- talked of the reigns of William, and George man, he was not prepared to argue that the 1st and 2nd, the circumstances of the point, but he conceived it was a new spe country were wholly different from the cies of objection, and if pushed to the full present. The army, at those periods, was extent, this obligation would bind a privy a pigmy army, compared to that now excounsellor to obtrude his advice, not only isting ; and the navy (though of a most upon occasions which fell within the line of respectable character) was of a different his duty, but on any casual knowledge of description altogether from the navy of circumstances, however foreign from it.-- the present day. The whole country was He next came to consider the nature of the not armed as it now was, acting under appointment, which was precisely the same commissions signed by the sovereign, and as that of any other private secretary, in the whole sphere of business was more con any other office of the state, differing tracted. He could perfectly understand only in the rank of the personage under then that a sovereign in perfect possession whom the office was held.' Was there any of his health and faculties could discharge more formal appointments of other private all the duties which were imposed on him secretaries, and yet their functions were by his office; and, besides, he believed as important and as confidential? Was the hon. gentleman would do him the justhere any form of oath prescribed to any tice to say, that ministers in those days of those private secretaries, through whose were not in the habit of such constant at. hands the same papers passed, that would tendance of parliament, night after night,