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what he had lately seen, he must view all the measures of ministers as hostile to the liberty of the subject; and the present measure be regarded with peculiar jealousy, as it went directly to rob them of the few remaining privileges they were still permitted to enjoy.
MR. Pitt replied, that if every measure adopted against the designs of France, was to be considered as hostile to the liberty of this country, then, indeed, his idea of liberty differed very widely from that which seemed to be entertained by the honourable gentleman. The House would recollect, however that honourable gentleman might say to the contrary, that he had given notice of the present motion, though he had not judged it prudent then to explain the mode iņ which it was to be put into execution. Neither could it be fairly supposed, that the present measure was to be brought forward as the usual one for aug. menting the navy. A bill of the nature of the latter was introduced about ten days ago; and at that time he stated to the House, that, if they acceded to the proposed augmentation of the navy, they must adopt some vigorous measure to make that augmentation effectual, as nothing but a law of a vigorous nature could suceeed in making the intended number of seamen complete. When the honourable gentleman complained of the manner in which the bill was to be hurried through the House, and hinted that it was too frequently resorted to, he saw the suspension of the habeas corpus act was lurking in his wind. The honourable gentleman would have a long notice given of the present motion, and would retard its progress through the House. He acknowledges that, were it not passed in a day, those whom it might concern might elude its effect, thus assigning himself the reason for its immediate adoption. But if the measure be necessary, and that a notice of it would enable its effect to be eluded, how can the honourable gentleman's opposition to it be accounted for, but from a desire to obstruct the defence of the country?
Mr. Tierney called the right honourable gentleman to order. Thig Language, Sir, said he, is surely not parliamentary, and upon you ourly can I call for protection.
The Speaker observed, that whatever had a tendency to throw suspicion on the sentiments of a member, if conveyed in language that clearly marked that intention, such language was, without doubt, irregular and unparliamentary; but if it argued no such intention, there was no room for censuring it as disorderly: if, therefore, it was the opinion of the House, that such was the fair import of the language used by the right honourable gentleman, they would judge of it accordingly; but they would first wait to hear the right honourable gentleman's explanation.
Mr. Pitt said, that he feared the House must wait a long time, if they waited for his explanation on the present subject. The sense of what he advanced was, that there was no distinction between the two cases in question. That if notice was to be given of the measure under consideration, that notice would only serve to elude its execution, and therefore no man could be justified in opposing the necessary expedition that made the measure ineffectual; or, if he did, he must surely appear to obstract the measures employed for the defence of the country. He knew very well that it was unparliamentary to state the motives that actuated the opinions of gentlemen, but it was impossible to go into arguments in favour of a question, without sometimes hinting at the motives that induced an opposition to it. He submitted to the judgment of the House the propriety and necessity of the arguments he had urged, and he would not depart from any thing he had there advanced, by either retract. ing or explaining them. *
* In consequence of what passed between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Tierney on this occasion, a meeting took place on the 27th, at three o'clock in the afternoon, on Putney Heath. Mr. Pitt was accompanied by Mr. Ryder, and Mr. Tierney by Sir George Walpole.
After some ineffectual attempts, on the part of the seconds, to prevent further proceedings, the parties took their ground at the distance of twelve paces. A case of pistols was fired at the same moment without effect; a second case was also fired in the same way, Mr. Pitt firing his pistol in the air: the seconds then jointly interfered, and insisted that the matter should go no farther, it being their decided opinion that sufficient satisfaction had been given, and that the business was ended with perfect honour to both parties.
The bill afterwards went through all its stages, and was ordered to be carried to the Lords; from whom a message was returned in a few minutes, that their Lordships had agreed to the bill.
December 3. 1798.
Mr. Pitt moved the order of the day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, to consider of a supply to be grant. ed to His Majesty.
The House having resolved itself into the said committee, Mr. Pitt fur. ther moved, that the act of the 58th of His present Majesty, chap. 16. for granting an aid or contribution to His Majesty, might be read, and that it might be an instruction to the committee to consider of the said act; which being agreed to, he then addressed the committee as follows:
Before I proceed to submit to the committee the very important matters which form the subject of this day's consideration, I conceive it necessary to take a diligent review of the general amount of the total services of the present year, and of the ways and means applicable to those services. Without adopting this method, I do not think it would be possible to inform your judgment with any degree of accuracy, respecting the propriety of the measure I have to propose, for raising a considerable part of the supplies within the year, or be able to enforce those arguments I shall adduced in support of that measure. It is a matter of extreme satisfaction to me, that it will appear to the committee from the estimate I shall now produce, compared with former estimates, that although our expenses are beyond what they ever were, yet that our means of supplying them are so ample and extensive, that the country is placed in a proud and eminent situation, beyond what it has enjoyed at any former period.
I shall begin by stating what has been voted as the amount of the supply under the head of the services for the navy, with the exception of what is necessary for transport services. All these accounts have this day been laid before us; and it appears that the total sum for the ordinaries and extraordinaries of the navy and transport services amounts to 13,642,000l. being the same sum, within a very small amount, as was granted in the course of last session, and which I have the satisfaction of assuring the committee is likely to prove sufficient for the whole expenses of the navy, without leaving any necessity for augmentation. The next head of expense is the army, in which the estimates amount to 8,840,0001. Gentlemen will recollect the extraordinaries in the course of last session, to be incurred in 1798, were stated at 3,200,0001. There was also voted a sum of 1,000,0001. as a vote of credit, applicable as extraordinaries to unforeseen expenses. This vote of credit will cover all the extraordinary expenses to the end of the year, so that, as in the article of the navy, there will be no past arrears to be discharged. But with respect to the vote of credit for this year, one million will be wanted to discharge that amount issued in exchequer-bills. Under the article, then, of army-expenditure, there remain the extraordinary services of the year 1799, which I may put at two millions. Thus the total amount, under the head of army, will be 8,840,0001, including the one million for the discharge of exchequer-bills issued, and two millions for the extraordinary services of 1799. Under the head of ordnance-services, including the expenses which have not been provided for, there has been voted the sum of 1,570,0001. The next article is that of the miscellaneous services. The plantation-estimates have already been voted, but there are other minuter parts of those services which have not yet undergone a discussion in this House. The amount will be rather less than it was last session. I state it 600,000). To this is to be added the usual sum voted towards the redemption of the national debt, above the annual million, which is 200,000). There are other sums, which are generally voted under the head of deficiency of grants. Among these is a sum due for interest on treasury and exchequer bills paid off, amounting to 565,0001; the discount on prompt payments upon the loan, amounting to 210,0002.; the interest og
exchequer bills circulated within the year, and charged upon the succeeding year, 300,0001.; in addition to this, there is the deficiency of the land and malt in the act passed two years ago, amounting to 300,000). These sums swell the total of the supply to 29,272,000l. This total, Sir, does not differ in any material degree from the amount of the supply of last session.
Toward raising this supply, it will naturally occur to the mind of every gentleman in the committee, that the same resources will be applicable as are always applicable at all periods, whether of peace or of war. The land and malt have always been taken at 2,750,000/. : there remains the lottery, which will not produce less than 200,0001. and the growing produce of the consolidated fund. I have stated these articles first, for reasons which will be obvious to the comunittee. These are the ordi. nary resources. The growing produce of the consolidated fund would amount for one year to 2,100,0001. but in the course of the present year that produce will be affected by some heavy burdens ;- by the reniains of charges in arrears ; by the interest, if it is still to remain a burden upon us, on the imperial loan, and by the growing interest on such parts of loans raised on the credit of levying any tax, for which no interest has been provided. On the other hand, the growing produce will be swelled by the advances to the planters of Grenada, amounting to 800,0001. I take, therefore, the probable growing produce of the consolidated fund at 1,500,0001. Io addition to this, and independently of the voluntary contributions, a tax was laid in the last session of parliament upon the exports and imports, founded upon the peculiar situation of our trade, as it then stood. That tax, Sir, has not only yielded to the full amount of what I estimated it at, but has even exceeded it; and I have the satisfaction of finding, that now, when that trade is brought to the test of a duty, upon the declarations of the parties themselves, allowing them indulgencies, and granting them a deduetion of ten per cent.-- I have, I repeat, Sir, the satisfaction of stating, that the total amount of our exports and imports exceede, in a large degree, the largest sum that any man ever