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dispose of, as our remittance was so very superior to the public remittance at Canton. Grant all which Mr. Constant claimed, 52, 00 dollars, in which is included Piron's bond, he had but an interest originally, even allowing the highest exchange on his dollars, of about 15,0001.; and yet he received 16,(001. before I received one farthing. My loss is the ship, which, by the papers before the house, is valued at 20,0001., the freight 27,0001. the 19,000 dollars, which is between 5 and 6,0001., and my indivi. dual property, schedule B, 10,0001. making in all 69,0001. and what I have received, with what I am to receive, will amount to about 19,0001; and as Mr. Charnock was the greatest sufferer by bis respondenten bonds, I went in 1791 to his executor, and wrote a letter to bím, and my own solicitor, as trustees ; agreeing, after all the expences I had been at in England, in pursuing this cause, were paid out of the grant, to divide the remainder, upon the principle of a general average; by which means I shall probably not retain more than two or three thouşand pounds, exclusive of the demands I have cancelled on this property. It has been erroneously stated that captain Robinson got no remuneration from the crown; that fact I deny ; be received all his expences, which he stated at 6,0001. Now if the treasury, instead of granting me a warrant for 25,0001. with a lien upon it of captain Robinson's expences, had, independant of the one-third share of the joint concern which was condemned to him, granted him a warrant for 6,0001, out of the sum wbich was forfeited to the crown, then not one word could have been said upon the subject. From this statement I hope the disposition of the treasury will be considered just; it restored to me part of the remains of my wrecked fortune, all carned by my own exertion, and not taken from the fund or exertion of any individual whatever. To you, sir, and to the house, I return my most sincere thanks for the patient indulgence I have experienced ; and I trust that, in retiring from this house, which I believe to be the in variable practice for members in my situation, the honourable gentleman will not again accuse me of abse conding from justice.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the honourable mover, whether he meant to bring a charge against siz Home Popham or the governinent?
The Speaker put it to the house whether there could be a doubt that the motion, as it was worded, conveyed a personal charge against sir Home Popham.
Sir Home Popham having retired,
Mr. Long complained of the manner in which the honourable gentleman had brought forward this charge against the treasury. If the right honourable gentleman would prefer a distinct charge against himself, he should always be ready to meet it; it against his late right honourable friend, there were others in the house much better qualified to defend that illustrious and lamented character than himself. Of many of the circumstances mentioned by the honourable gentleman, he was perfecily ignorant until the agiation of this subjret. He was ig. norant that any charge of smuggling had been imputed to the honourable captain, for no such charge had been made in captain Robinson's memorial; he was ignorant that the honourable captain bad pleaded in bar to an ac. tion, the illegality of the transaction in which he had been concerned. The honourable gentleman declared that this was a misapplication of the public money, and that his principal object was to prevent a recurrence of that misapplication in future. He then proceeded to state, that the honourable captain had deceived the trea. sury, and had acted under that delusion. This he posi. tively denied. The treasury had not been deceived. He was willing to take the whole responsibility of the affair on bimsell; for on the closest re-examination which he had been able to make on the subject, he was satisfied that the treasury had acted on the soundest principles ; that they must have done what they did, even to an indifferent person; how much more to a man so well known by the services he bad rendered to the public! What was the casc? Alter a litigation of ten years, a part of the property was restored to the neutral proprieiors; a part was alloited to the captors ; a part was forfeited to the crown by the laws securing the monopoly of the East India company havingabeen violated. But who were the sufferers by this violation? the East India company: Did they appear to feel much injury? No. Did they institute any prosecution in consequence? No. Did they present any memorial on the subject ? No. Did they interfere in any way whatever respecting it? No. Was it not evident
then, that they were willing to allow a relaxation of the laws in which they alone were interested ? Nor was this surprising : these laws were made at a time when a com. pany were formed in the Austrian Netherlands, which the East 'ulia company feared as a rival.
This was at the commencement of the last century. In 1725, how. ever, that company was suspended, and in 1731 totally abolished. Since that period it was notorious that British subjects had been engaged in trade in the Eust Indies. What in fairness was to be in ferred from the recommendation of the honourable captain, by the government of India, to the court of directors ? Either that the government of India thought that they sustained no injury by the infraction of the law ; or if any injury had been sustained, that it was counterbalanced by the services rendered to the company by the honourable captain. The only case at all analogous to that of the Etrusco, was that of the Walsinghain packet, and of the Prince of Wales. In the former, half was given to the captors, and half to the original proprietors; in the latter, a third was given to the cators, and the remainder to the original proprietors. If the treasury had acted otherwise than as they bad to the honourable captain, they would have made his case an exception. What be had received was not a reward for violation of the law, i was a restitution of a small part of his depreciated property. Adverting to the continuance of the honourable captain on the continent after the seizure of the Etrusco, of which circumstance such an unfair advantage had been taken by the honourable gentleman, he read the letter from the duke of York to Iord Spencer, then at the head of the admiralty, in which his royal bighness described the extraordinary exertions of Mr. Popham when with the British army in Holland, and recommended him most strongly to be promoted to the rank of post-captain. He also read the answer of lord Spencer, who informed his royal highness that he would take the earliest opportunity of complying with his request, and that he should feel the greatest satisfaction in promoting an officer who had deserved so well of his country. The present was a most serious accusation against the treasury board; against that great man (Mr. Pitt), whose purity of character neither the voice of party nor the breath of calumny itself had ever atteinpted to sully.
It was his pride and satisfaction to reflect that he had been publicly connected in the same administration, and that he had been honoured by the private intimacy of that illustrious character, who in the whole course of his splen did career had been distinguished by the most inflexible integrity, by the highest sense of honour, and by the most perfect devotion to the cause of his country.
Mr. Calcraft declared that he should never be deterred by the dread of recrimination from submitting what he esteemed it to be his duty to offer to the house. He was sorry the gallant officer could not be present; but as what he had to say would depend on the documents alone, he could easily inform himself on the subject. He had stated on a former night, that the appointment of that officer to be captain of the fleet under admiral Gambier had created the utmost disgust throughont the navy. He did not state
without documents on which to ground his assertion; and he thought he could not do better than read a letter which he held in his hand, addressed to admiral Gambier on this occasion. The honourable gentleman then proceeded to read a remonstrance to lord Gambier, from admirals Hood, Kcates, and Stopford, on the subject of that appointment, and contended that this document fully justified the expressions he had used on the former occasion. The honourable gentleman was proceeding to some observations respecting the question relative to the Rochfori squadron, when he was called to order by
Mr. Wellesley Pole, who contended that there was no connection between the observations of the honourable gentleman and the question before the house ; at the saine time declaring, that he was perfectly ready to meet the honourable gentleman upon the topics to which he had referred, whenever they should be brought regularly be. fore the house.
The Speaker observed, that as the expressions used by the honourable gentleman on a former occasion had been adverted to, he was perfectly in order in explaining these expressions, and the grounds uvon which he had used them. It would be for the honourable gentleman, lowever, to decide how far his statement may be carried for the purpose of such explanation.
Mr. Calcraft was not disposed to proceed further on the subject, as his object had only been to shew that the
case he had urged was supported by undoubted authority. He should conclude by declaring that, as the case of his honourable friend seemed to him to be fully made out, be should vote in support of his resolutions.
The Advocate general (Sir John Nicholl) would not discharge his duty to the house, or to the memory of that illustrious individual, who was now unfortunately no more (Mr. Pitt), if he did not sta e to the house the grounds of the opinion upon which he had recommended the grant. Ever since this subject had been first mentioned, he had felt personally embarrassed with respect to the matter. It had been said that the grant had been made upon a reluctant report from the king's advocate ; but so far from that having been the case, the report concluded without expressing any opinion, which, on so novel a case, the law officers who signed the report were not competent to give. On so grave a question as the exercise of the inquisitorial power of that house respecting the expenditure of public money, it was important to keep in view the object of the motion. That object was a censure on the conduct of a late administration for an improvident grant of money, in order to prevent a similar act in future. It was unfortunate for any individual to be the object of accusation in that house, but it was particularly unfortunate for him to be incidentally or collaterally the subject of charge, when the merits of a charge against yovernment were made to depend upon his merits or demerits. This was more particularly the case when the accusation was founded, in part, upon letters which had been that night first read to the house. It was not strictly correct to call the grant in this case a misapplication of public money; it was the king's money, though he would not say that the house might not inquire into any improvident appropriation of such a fund. The grant was not a donation or a reward, but a remission of a forfeilure, and there had been many cases in which that house complained of the rigid enforcement of forfeitures. The exercise of justice with mercy, the prerogative of pardon or of remission of forfeiture, was one of the brightest jewels in the power of the crown, and which that house would least be disposed to interfere with. Such was the character of the act: next was to be considered Vol. III.-1808.