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power of rewarding public services, throw into the hands of those ministers additional means of traversing the measures of his administration. Suppose, for instance, a person disappointed in his expectation of such a grant from the Regent, will he not naturally look to those who may soon have that power which the Regent is not to possess, and join them in an opposition to embarrass his government? The case is not unlikely to happen, and will you, then, by adopting these restrictions, establish a weak government and a strong opposition ? Will you paralize the vigour of the executive by legislative provisions, and create a powerful opposition by act of Parliament.

It is not enough to say, that the restriction on this prerogative is necessary to facilitate the resumption of his power by the King on his recovery, or that it is not in contemplation to do any injury to the monarchy or to the constitution. If you confer only a part, and withhold the remainder of the prerogatives of the Crown from the Regent, you will alter the whole face and complexion of the sovereign authority. The monarchical power will be no longer in the hands of the Regent, what the constitution directs it should be;- in the hands of the chief executive magistrate. This would be to alter the very frame of the government, and the original principles of the constitution; to separate the authority; to discharge the more arduous duties and functions of the

government; the administration of foreign affairs; the decisions of the relations of war and peace, the distribution of justice, and regulation of police at home, from those prerogatives which add grace and lustre to the sovereign power, and, by their amiability, render the executive magistrate an object of affection, no less than a source of terror; the fountain of bounty and favour, as well as the executor of justice. It is not enough to make the Regent a penal magistrate, to arm him with all the coercive powers of government, to authorize him to enforce the revenue laws, to visit offences with punishment, and to exercise all that is harsh and odious in the duties of the chief magistracy; we must also give him those healing and remunerating prerogatives which cast a veil over the severity of vindictive justice, and reconcile, by their salutary interposition, the stern exercise of authority.

But, Sir, let me ask, in the first place, whether it be necessary to suspend this prerogative under the present circumstances ? and, secondly, whether it will be safe to withhold any part of the powers of the Crown from the Regent, at a time when not only the nation is at war, but also universally admitted to be in a state of imminent peril? Can it be neces

sary, in order to facilitate the King's resumption of his power upon his recovery (which I sincerely hope speedy), that the Regent should be abridged of the power of creating peers for any given period? Can any man suppose, that the exercise of that power of making peers in any imaginable manner, during twelve months, could tend to obstruct the resumption of his royal powers by His Majesty ? I concur most fully in the propriety of that provision, which gives to the Queen the custody of His Majesty's person during his melancholy illness. I am equally ready to admit that the first moment of His Majesty's restoration to perfect health, should be the period of the full resumption of his authority. Every necessary precaution should be now provided to reinstate him in all the prerogatives and powers of the monarchy, as soon as His Majesty's intellectual faculties shall resume their vigour. On the dawn of reason, His Majesty should walk forth with all the ancient and undiminished privileges of the monarch. When gentlemen say that the power of creating peers in the hands of the Regent would be productive of impediments to the return of the King to power, do they mean that a Regent would be so lost to the dignity and duties of his station as to harbour such an idea ? Do they think, that if he could find instruments for such a purpose, the Regent would be capable of entering into so foul a conspiracy against the rights of his sovereign and the interests of his country? The very bill which the right honourable gentleman has himself brought in, negatives the base suspicion; for it declares, that the Prince of Wales shall be Regent, not in right of his birth, but on account of his fitness. Is it then consistent în Parliament to declare in the enacting clause his qualification, and in the restricting clause to deny it? The right honourable gentleman bas insinuated, that a number of peers had been created by the late administration; granted. But has that obstructed the measures of the government? Has it impeded the administration of public affairs, or in any one instance embarrassed the functions of the executive ? Yet suppose this power of creating peers to be prejudicial, suppose, that by its exercise, or its abuse, it might become injurious to the interests of the state, what is the remedy? to limit the power? certainly not; but to withdraw it altogether; to secure the state from the danger by taking away from the executive the power of abuse, to abolish the prerogative at once, and not to withhold it one year from the Regent, and then let it loose (use and abuse), next year, to himself and his successors. The case of the creation of a number of peers at ónce, in the reign of Queen Anne, has also been adverted to

for the purpose of showing that the abuse of this prerogative might be carried to an extent that would amount to a control upon the proceedings of the legislature. But to give validity to the inference drawn from this case, it must be shown, that the abuse of the power, in that instance, had either impeded or embarrassed the functions of the government. Certainly it cannot be denied, that the danger and mischief of such an abuse would be as great under a reigning sovereign as under a Regent; and though it is fair to argue from the abuse to the correction, it is as false in logic as it is unfair in argument to reason from the use to the abuse.

It is my opinion, Sir, that, generally speaking, the influence of the Crown ought rather to be diminished than increased; but still I am an enemy to any curtailment of the just influence and necessary authority of the executive at this period. The proposition of the right honourable gentleman respecting the disposal of the household, appears to me to be calculated to do this. If the household be withheld from the Regent, he will not only be deprived of a certain proportion of influence, constitutionally belonging to the executive exclusively, but that influence will be thrown into other hands. By acceding to this arrangement you will create a new political power to keep up a continued rivalry and contest with the government of the Regent; you will, in effect, create two Regents; a Regent of administration and a Regent of opposition.

I mean no improper or offensive insinuation; I feel all that respect and veneration for Her Majesty which are so justly due to her exemplary character and conspicuous virtues; but I must strenuously protest against the enactment of a bad law, on the chance of its correction by a good Queen. If the control and patronage of the household be entrusted to any other hands than the Regent's, it is not unfair to conclude that this influence will be exercised in opposition to his measures and government. Now, if the council to be assigned to the Queen be not of the council of the Regent, it must be clear that it will form a host independent of the Regent's government, ready to thwart all its measures, and adding to the strength of any opposition that may be formed against it. To the proposed plan, therefore, I most decidedly object for that reason ; but no less so for this other, that the complexion you will thus give to the character of the Regent, and the impression it must make upon the public mind will have an injurious effect upon his future government, when, by course of nature, he will have to succeed his royal father upon the throne.

If, by any parsimonious restriction of the royal prerogatives,

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you disable lim from executing the duties of the executive with credit to himself or with benefit to the public, you will induce the people to suppose, that, as you suspect he would not be a good Regent, he must make a bad King.

Is this, then, the treatment, which the Regent is entitled to expect at our hands ? Does it become Parliament to address the Regent in this language? “Wegive you the prerogative of making war or peace; we invest you with authority to dispense justice to the subjects of this realm; we entrust to you every power of the executive, which in its exercise can render your government unpopular or odious; but we do not think proper to invest you with any of the gracious and conciliatory prerogatives of the Crown; and, moreover, set up a new political power in the state to thwart, and oppose all your measures, and therefore we call upon you to take the administration of the government with such mutilated powers upon yourself, and to exert your best energies for the benefit and interests of the country.

If Parliament could act in this manner, it would reduce the country to the distressing and gloomy alternative of one King disabled by infirmity, and another King rendered odious by the effect of those restrictions.

For myself, I feel no objection to the introduction of the King's name upon this occasion; it is actually impossible to avoid it. We are called upon to supply a deficiency created by his infirmity, and cannot possibly discuss the means of doing that, without referring to the cause. I am as well disposed as any honourable member, to pay every deference to the feelings of His Majesty; but what are the feelings which the provisions of this bill, and the arguments of the right honourable gentlemen opposite, ascribe to him? Are they not feelings derogatory from his known character, and disgraceful to one in his exalted station ? thus the sacred name of the King has been treated with disrespect, and insulted by imputing to him anxieties not for the public welfare, but for his individual gratification ; by representing him as awaking from what has been called “The Trance of Reason;" as inquisitive, not as to the situation of Europe, but as to the state of his household ; not as to the fate of England, but as to the condition of his establishment; alive rather to the nomination of his servants, than to the calamities of his country; and demanding not an account of his ministers' measures, but a list of his household domestics.

Thus, not content with calumniating the sovereign's mind, by supposing it filled with such unroyal notions, the right honourable gentlemen wish to make, the very contemptible feelings they impute to His Majesty, the ground of our legis


lation. They first brand their King as unroyal, and then themselves unconstitutional. The best consolation of a sick King, is the prosperity of his people. Parliament will abandon its duty, if it attends rather to the identity of the king's household, than to the competency of his government; and, if such a mistaken view of what we owed to our sovereign and to our country, shall influence the decision of this night, the monarch will certainly, on his recovery, find himself surrounded by his old domestics, but he will also be surrounded by the misfortunes of his country.

The amendment of Lord Porchester was negatived without a division ; the first, second, third, and fourth resolutions passed, as originally proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Upon the fifth resolution, which had been amended in the committee, by a majority of 13, the Chancellor of the Exchequer divided the House, and his amendment, which went to restore it to its original state, was negatived upon a division, by a majority of three.

For the fifth resolution, as amended in the committee, 217, against it 214 ; Majority 3. Tellers for the Ayes, Mr. Calcraft and Mr. Freemantle:

Noes, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Long.




February 22. 1811. THE Roman Catholics of Ireland, in order to forward the object

of their petition, resolved to appoint a more extended committee; and with that view, directed the individual who acted as their secretary, to address to the Catholics of the different coun. ties in Ireland the following letter :

66 SIR,

“ I am directed by the general committee of the Catholics of Ireland, to solicit your particular attention on the present occasion.

“ The committee being entrusted with the petition of the Catholic body, feel it incumbent on them to state to you

their conviction of the imperative necessity of an increase of their numbers, so that there may be managers of the petition connected with every part of Ireland. It is highly desirable that the committee should become the depository of the collective wisdom of the Catholic body, that it should be able to ascertain, in order to

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