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with the knowledge of Lord Carteret, to dispose of that office to a Mr. Hutchinson for a sum of money; and it appeared, that complaints had been made against the said Mr. Hutchinson for misconduct in his office.-Fourthly, it appeared, that none of these transactions were entered in the books of the office, but on the contrary had been kept concealed.-Fifthly, an undue preference had been shewn to a Mr. Staunton, Postmaster-General at Isleworth, whose place was worth 4001.; in addition to which, he was appointed Comptroller of the bye and cross-road letter office, to which a salary of 5001. a year, and the perquisites of coals and candles are attached; and 1001. was afterwards granted him in lieu of a house.—Sixthly, various and extraordinary abuses were stated to exist in the management of the packet boats, particularly that no deduction had been made from the hire of any vessels whilst under repair, seizure for smuggling, or when unemployed; and that they were frequently for many months together in that situation.-Seventhly, the undue receipt of perquisites and incidents, particularly in coals, candles, tin ware, and various articles of furniture, by the Postmasters-General, and others having appointments in the post-office, were stated as being shameful and excessive.- Lastly, to bring these matters home to the minister, it was stated by Mr. Grey, that Lord Tankerville, whilst in office, had busied himself attentively in endeavouring to convict the abuses in question: had suggested several plans for their prevention in future: and had communicated those plans to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ;-that he had received great commendation for his zeal and attention, and had been promised support, but that his colleague, Lord Carteret, not viewing these abuses in the same criminal light that he did ; and refusing to concur in the necessary steps for preventing them, a quarrel had ensued between the two noble Lords, and it became impossible that they should continue Joint-Postmasters-General any longer. This being the fact, an ordinary observer, he said, would have imagined that the right honorable gentleman would not have dismissed the Postmaster-General who had shewn himself anxious for a reform, and had taken so much pains to effect it; but the other Postmaster-General, who was the protector of the abuses in question, and the opposer of the necessary reform. Instead, however, of dismissing Lord Carteret, the right honorable gentleman had suddenly dismissed his noble relation.

Viscount Maitland observed, that the present motion, upon the face of it, seemed to arise rather from resentment, than justice; it looked as if it were founded in pique; and with a view to keep the noble Lord, now at the head of the post-office, in a very disagreeable predicament, by calling his character in question; and not allowing him, owing to the lateness of the session, an immediate opportunity of cleaing it from all imputation.

** Mr. SHERIDAN, defending Mr. Grey's conduct from the construction which Viscount Maitland had put upon it, observed, that it was possible some other influence had induced the noble viscount to

stand up so warm an advocate for the present Postmaster General, than his own conviction, that his honorable friend meant any thing at all unfair in bringing forward his motion at that advanced period of the session. The fact Mr. Sheridan asserted to be this--the Earl of Tankerville had himself intended, as was well known, to take some step in the house of lords relative to the subjects stated by his honorable friend in his opening; nor was it till very lately that he had been informed that the only effectual and proper proceeding would be, to move in that house for a committee of inquiry. His honorable friend, therefore, was not at all to blame for not having brought forward the subject sooner, since it had not been in his hands till within a few days. The most material part of the proposed inquiry was the charge against a right honorable gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That matter was certainly a serious ground of enquiry, because no man in that house dealt more in professions; but he wished to try the right honorable gentleman by his conduct, and not by his professions, or the preambles of the bills which he had proposed and got passed. The right honorable gentleman had just turned to one of those bills-his office reform bill, passed more than two years ago; and yet that house had heard nothing of the effects of that bill as to the abuses in the post-office, to which the right honorable gentleman had said it alluded. He had at the time when the bill was in agitation, stood up to oppose it, and pronounced that it would prove ineffectual; and that the same end might be better obtained by other and very different means. The motion of his honorable friend, and the ground of it, sufficiently proved that assertion, and amply justified it.

Mr. Pitt asserted, that he verily believed, that Mr. Sheridan had spoken with his usual sincerity, when he said that the charge against the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the material part of the topics alluded to by the honorable gentleman; and he did not at all doubt, but that when it was considered what use ingenuity might make of

reports to disseminate stories and tales to his prejudice, that the opportunity of doing so was the principal ground which induced gentlemen to be so anxious for the enquiry.

Mr. Sheridan answered, that as the right honorable gentleman had spoken three times, he hoped he should be indulged in speaking a second time. The right honorable gentleman had, it seems, thought him ironical in saying that the most material part of the charge was that against the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Pitt said, across the table, directly the reverse; in that I admit, and believe you to be sincere.

Mr. Sheridan resumed his speech, and said, "Well, I am glad the right honorable gentleman admits that I generally speak with sincerity."

No, said Mr. Pitt again, not so; but in what you have this day said against me.

Mr. Sheridan again rallied, and went into argument to prove, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer dealt more in professions than in acts. The right honorable gentleman, he observed, had said that the commissioners, under the office-reform bill, had not come to the post-office. He asked, then, to what else had they turned their attention? He reminded the right honorable gentleman of his eagerness to triumph over a noble lord (North) by his famous speech on whipcord, the kitchens of Downing-street house, and a variety of other trifling topics, which, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had stated as instances of the noble lord's negligence and corruption. He dwelt upon Mr. Pitt's former argument about the kitchens, and asked how the right honorable gentleman could reconcile it to himself to have built the palace at the corner of the Admiralty, after having maintained such an argument? It was, if not a proof of corruption, at least a proof of profusion, and unnecessary waste of the public money, in the right honorable gentleman. Again, if he could not be charged with a direct corrupt use of the influence of the crown, he had made as prudent and

as interesting an use of it as any minister, in the distribution of places and emoluments, and particularly in bestowing titles and honors. Upon the whole, Mr. Sheridan contended, that Mr. Pitt had always promised and professed purity, but had acted with as much self-attention, and as much neglect of reform as any minister whatever.

Some expressions having fallen from Mr. Pitt, which Mr. Greg considered as reflecting injuriously upon the motives, which had led him to undertake the present enquiry, the latter rose with great warmth, and said, that conscious as he was of being actuated by fair and honorable considerations, no man should dare to impute unworthy motives to him.

Mr. Chancellor Pitt, and Mr. Sheridan rose together; but the latter declaring that he flattered himself the house would wish rather, in such a moment, that he should delay the right honorable gentleman's speaking for a very few seconds, was heard first. Mr. Sheridan then said, his honorable friend, he saw clearly, had mistaken the Chancellor of the Exchequer's meaning; but his words hastily heard, might, at their first sound, have made the sort of impression which he perceived they had made on his honorable friend; though he was ready to admit that this was not their true meaning. At length the speaker put the question and it was carried.

MAY 28.


On the 23d May, the report was brought up from the committee, A motion for printing it was rejected; and it was ordered to be taken into consideration on the 28th. On the latter day, Mr. Grey observed, that the accuracy of the report of the committee, rendered it unnecessary for him to trouble the house with a minute detail of the subject of their investigation. Entertaining, therefore, no doubt but the facts he had stated would appear fully proved; it was for the house to consider-first, the nature of the offence; and, secondly, the degree of censure or punishment it deserved. For his part, he considered the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the person the most culpable in the whole business. He concluded with moving, that it VOL. I.


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appears to this house that great abuses have prevailed in the Postoffice; and that the same being made known to His Majesty's minis

ters, it is their duty, without loss of time, to make use of such measures as are in their power to reform them."

Mr. SHERIDAN observed, that it was extremely natural for the right honorable gentleman (Mr. Pitt,) notwithstanding his concern for Lord Carteret, to take notice of that part of his honorable friend's speech first, which more immediately related to himself. The right honorable gentleman had, with great apparent firmness, animadverted upon what his honorable friend had said; but the right honorable gentleman must excuse him, if he did not give entire credit to the manner of his answer; but on the contrary, took the liberty of asserting that the right honorable gentleman did feel, and severely feel the reprehension of his honorable friend. With regard to the words which the right honorable gentleman had quoted of his honorable friend's first speech in that house, the right honorable gentleman had not quoted his honorable friend correctly; for, if he had, the house would have seen that his honorable friend was by no means chargeable with inconsistency. His honorable friend had not professed personal respect to the right honorable gentleman; but only said, he gave him credit for the goodness of his intention, in the measures which he brought forward, and, therefore, he hoped the right honorable gentleman would give him credit, when he asserted, in opposing the measure, at that time under consideration, (the commercial treaty with France) that his motive was honest. This was, (Mr. Sheridan said) a true a true description of what had then passed. With regard to any thing which his honorable friend had said, that might be improper; when he considered the talents and the ability his honorable friend had shewn at his outset, and ever since, though he must, undoubtedly, be called a young member; yet he would agree with the

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