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"That Messrs. Wallis and Troward be the solicitors for the impeachment.

"That this house will attend the trial of Warren Hastings, as a committee of the whole house."

Which motions, upon being severally put, were unanimously agreed to, Mr. Fox afterwards moved, “that the name of Mr. Francis be added to the committee." Mr. Pitt opposed it.

Mr. SHERIDAN remarked, that he had frequently had occasion to admire the admirable talents of the right honorable gentleman (Mr. Pitt) who spoke last. His address and management were the constant objects of his envy. His forward and enterprising qualities, which he had so eminently displayed at one time, could not be equalled by his prudence and discretion at another. His prudence, however, had never been more conspicuously proved than on that evening; for his prudence had wisely prevented him from undertaking the task of answering two of the most eloquent speeches he had ever heard. But the right honorable gentleman, though he found it indiscreet to attempt to answer the honorable mover and seconder of the motion, had been so good as to entertain them with a new discovery. He had discovered that this was not a question of argument, but of feeling. A new system of proceeding and discussion, seemed to have taken place in that house; and every topic that occurred, was to be resolved into two general heads. If any inquiry was to be urged on any ground of unexplained expense, or of alarming and offensive projects, it was instantly to be supported by confidence in the minister. If any question was agitated, in which the minister was not personally interested, then it was to be resisted on the ground of feeling and thus to harmonize the house of commons, and to put an end to all argument and contention; their whole proceedings were to be divided between, and conducted by, confidence and feeling. It was not, however, difficult to draw within a narrow compass, the true state of this question. When

Mr. Francis first arrived from India, there might be some difficulty as to the part he was to take; whether it should be the manly and open part of an accuser, coming forward with his own person, and standing responsible for the accusations he made; or whether he should shrink from the duty which he owed his country, and conceal the important truths of which he had the fullest knowledge. The course to take, in this case, was easy to be settled in the mind of a manly character; and there was nothing in the whole tenor of the relative situation in which he and Mr. Hastings stood in India, that ought to have prevented him from thus coming forward. What was it but a continued state of opposition on the part of inflexible integrity to corruption-of conscientious discharge of duty, to an interested violation of orders?-and what was it to the purpose that this opposition produced a personal contest? That contest was the slightest mark of the opposition which had passed between them. At length, however, it was indirectly inferred that the honorable gentleman (Mr. Francis might with delicacy furnish assistance in the dark; -he might act under covert, and give them sly and secret aid; but if he stood fairly and handsomely forward, and avowed the information which he gave, then a certain undescribed and equivocal feeling was to be outraged.

The question being put, the house divided—ayes 62; noes 122.

DECEMBER 18.

ORDNANCE ESTIMATES.

Mr. SHERIDAN observed, that he meant not to take up much of the time of the house; but he had an intention of making several motions; which he hoped would not meet with any objection. The subjects of his motions were the ordnance estimates, which had been moved at so late an hour of the

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night on the preceding Monday, that it was impossible for him then to go into any sort of investigation of them; and having been moved in so extraordinary a manner, it was not to be wondered at, that he and other gentlemen had not come down the next day to examine the estimates; or, that the report of the committee had passed without a single observation. It might, he was aware, be said, that any reference to the ordnance estimates was, for the reasons he had stated, out of time; but, as he meant not to press his motions upon the house, if they should be at all objected to; and wished to have them agreed to-rather for the purpose of laying the ground for future discussion, than with any relation to present debate-he hoped it would be allowed, that it was right to make them prior to the recess. One great object of future discussion was, a matter that had been mentioned in the debate on Monday last, when the army and ordnance estimates had been voted; and this was, the total of the estimate of the expense of the system of fortification in the West Indies about to be adopted. It was undoubtedly material for that house to know what the estimate of the whole expense was, previous to the system's having full parliamentary sanction; because, the case might happen, that works to a very large extent might be raised; and it might afterwards be said to that house, "The three thousand men, that you voted last year, was not the full augmentation necessary for the West Indies;-our works, already erected, require so many more to man them;-and you must either vote the full necessary complement, or you weaken the islands, and strengthen the enemy, by putting them in easy possession of works which we cannot defend and maintain." In that view of the consequence, therefore, it was impossible to say to what extent, or to what expense, the works might be carried; or how it might affect the resources of the country, both in regard to men and money. Mr. Sheridan

said, he held in his hand a paper, which he deemed a valuable document; it was a report of the Board of Ordnance, as to the intended plan of fortifications to be erected, and other projects conceived necessary to be adopted; dated 1783, and signed Richmond. In that paper, the noble duke had stated the suspicions that the conduct of the Board of Ordnance had long been liable to; and with a view to put an end to them, had, in an open and manly way, avowed his designs with regard to future works and future plans, and submitted them to the consideration of parliament. That paper Mr. Sheridan thought highly deserving the notice of the house; as it contained the noble duke's own account of his intentions, and was, therefore a proper subject of reference, whenever an ordnance estimate was laid upon the table, during the time the noble Duke should continue to hold his office of Master General of the Ordnance. In that report, the house would see, that his Grace suggested that system of fortification, both at home and abroad, which had, in the first instance, been agitated and discussed in that house; and so much to the honor of the Speaker, been decided against by the effect of his vote. The present proposal, of fortifying the West Indies, was a part of the plan already exploded and rejected in that house; and not, as the right honorable gentleman (Mr. Pitt) had declared, a new idea, arising out of new circumstances. In order, therefore, to rouse the house to a due attention of the importance of the consideration, Mr. Sheridan said, he should move for an estimate of the whole expense of the intended plan of fortifying the West India islands.

Another matter, also, which he should make a motion upon, was a charge in the estimate of 10,0001. for the purchase of some powder mills, at Waltham Abbey; a project, in every point of view, absurd and impolitic, as it tended to annihilate the manufacture of gunpowder in this country,

and to substitute in its stead an unfair monopoly, vested in the hands of government only. The mischiefs of such a scheme, were obvious and ascertainable, from the experience of the royal powder mills at Feversham; where the expense of the establishment had been so great, that every pound of powder cost government four times as much as they could purchase it for from other manufac

turers.

A farther subject of motion, was, a proposition that had already challenged and excited the attention of that house :-the raising a corps of artificers, consisting of six hundred men, and dividing them into six companies. A more unprincipled plan he had never seen suggested; and, when he used the term unprincipled, he said he did not mean to apply it in the bad sense of the word, but as marking a plan, not found in any sound or rational principle; for such he took the plan in question to be. In order to prove this assertion, Mr. Sheridan read a sentence from the Duke of Richmond's report of 1783; in which his grace had stated that, from suffering some of the artificers at Woolwich, Sheerness, &c. to be put into companies, the artillery would never want artificers; and a saving of 15,000l. would be made to government. Before, therefore, any new plan of raising a new corps of artificers was adopted, Mr. Sheridan declared, it was necessary to know what the saving made, in consequence of the noble duke's plan of 1783, amounted to; because, if no such saving, as was stated in the report in his hand, had been made, the present proposition of raising a corps of artificers instead of being economical- would, in fact be an additional expense upon the public. Mr. Sheridan next descanted on the idle use of the word œconomy, and contended, that under that cover and pretence, the noble duke had considerably increased the patronage and influence of the Board of Ordnance; both of which, when

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