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had taken great pains to prove, that it made no difference in what manner the motion was got rid of. He differed entirely from him on that head; and he had the authority of the honorable gentleman himself, who had made the motion, on his side; for he had expressly declared, that if the motion was evaded by the previous question, or by moving the order of the day, he apprehended the most serious mischiefs to Ireland would follow. He called, therefore, upon that honorable gentleman, if he had any real feeling for the interest and peace of either country, not to persevere in bringing on the mischiefs which he acknowledged he foresaw. Mr. Sheridan then proceeded to state the whole of Mr. Eden's conduct in this business, which he attacked with great acrimony, as scandalously unfair to the new ministers, who though he was convinced they had the fairest intentions towards Ireland; yet if he declared himself so decided an enemy to the principle of the declaratory law in question, which he had always regarded as a tyrannous usurpation in this country, he could not but reprobate the motives which influenced the present mover for its repeal; but, if the house divided on it, he should vote with him. With regard to the fair representation of the intentions of the new ministers, which the honorable gentleman had been called on by the noble lord, who seconded the motion, to give to the Irish on his return, he could give but little credit to his intentions on that head; it was his business, and his direct and explicit duty, to have given a fair representation, and full information, of the state of Ireland, to His Majesty's present ministers here, for which purpose he had been sent to London. He had deserted that duty; and, from motives of private pique and resentment, had with-held, all information from them on the subject. It was but reasonable, therefore, to suppose that the same principles would direct his conduct on his return to Ireland;
and the same little motives of resentment would lead him to with-hold from the parliament of that country, the satisfactory information of the intentions of the new ministers, though it was equally his duty to report it.
MR. PITT'S MOTION,
"THAT A COMMITTEE BE APPOINTED TO ENQUIRE INTO THE STATE OF THE REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT, AND TO REPORT TO THE HOUSE THEIR OBSERVATIONS THEREON."
This debate was long, and ably supported by the mover, Mr. Sawbridge, Sir George Saville, Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and others on the side of a reform; by Mr. Powys, Mr. Thomas Pitt, and the Lord Advocate of Scotland against it. On a division, the motion was rejected by a majority of 161 to 141. Mr. Sheridan spoke much in favor of the motion, and answered the Lord Advocate in every argument he had advanced. He took up some similies of Sir George Saville and Mr. Courteney in a beautiful manner, and plainly shewed the necessity of an enquiry being appointed.
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE ON THE E O BILL.
Mr. SHERIDAN said it would be in vain to prohibit E O tables, while a more dangerous and pernicious mode of gaming was countenanced and supported by law; he meant the gaming in the lottery. The power given by the bill to justices of the peace was too great to be given to any set of magistrates; but still by much too great to be given to the justices of Westminster and Middlesex. He did not mean to speak of them all as bad magistrates; for there were certainly some very respectable characters to be found among them; but, in general, he would not trust such a power to any set of magis
trates, as was proposed to be given by this bill: but much less, when many of those who should act under the bill, were themselves suspected of being proprietors of E O tables;-to his knowledge there were two Middlesex justices concerned in lottery offices. He would therefore recommend it to the house, instead of passing the bill, to turn their thoughts towards a reform of the police of Westminster; for it would be ineffectual, nay absurd, to pass the best laws, if no confidence could be reposed in the honor and integrity of those who were to see them properly executed and obeyed.
The report was agreed to.
ON THE VOTE OF SUPPLY FOR THE NAVY.
On this motion being proposed, Mr. Fox rose, not to oppose the supplies, but to know positively amd explicitly whether we were at peace or war. He said that on the 23d November, the Secretary of State had written a letter to the Lord Mayor the most extraordinary and unwarrantable he had ever heard of; and had therein assigned, as a reason for the prorogation of parliament, a treaty of peace which was on the tapis between this country and the Belligerent powers. In that letter he had promised, that at the meeting of parliament, he would inform his lordship and the public positively, whether we were to have peace or war. The parliament had met, and the public were still in a state of uncertainty; they were just now going to provide for the navy, and no explanation had been made by ministers. He therefore called upon them to stand forward, and inform the house whether we were to have peace or war? In reply it was stated by ministers, that the provisional articles would be laid before the house on the instant there should be a conclusion either for war or peace. "Those articles," observed Mr. Pitt, "acknowledged the independence of America, substantially and conclusively, and the recognition could not be revoked, even if the present treaty should go off."
Mr. SHERIDAN said, that it was not only the noble earl at the head of the treasury (the Earl of Shelburne), who had given an explanation of the provisional articles different from that given by the ministers in this house; but in a public company,
where he was some days ago, a noble person,* in whose words he placed more confidence than in those of the noble earl, had given an opinion exactly correspondent. This was not a matter of private confidence, it was not mentioned as a secret; and therefore he was at liberty to make use of the explanation, and to advance it as an argument of caution to the house, how they hastily voted a war establishment, on language so contradictory.
Sir Cecil Wray confirmed what Mr. Sheridan stated, in regard to the conversation of the Duke of Richmond, and said that this contrariety of sentiment gave him just alarms, and made him hesitate to grant a war establishment, when he could not be absolutely certain that the war with America was actually at an end.
MR. FOX'S MOTION FOR A COPY OF THE PROVISIONAL TREATY WITH AMERICA.
In the course of this debate Mr. Sheridan adverted to what he had said of the communication made by a noble duke in a public company. "That communication both he and Sir Cecil Wray clearly understood to be public, and not only so, but that they had the noble duke's express leave to mention it in that house." This was contradicted by Mr. Steele, upon which Mr. Sheridan again averred," that direct authority was given by his grace the Duke of Richmond to Sir Cecil Wray, to relate the conversation in the house."
FEBRUARY 14, 1783.
MR. SHERIDAN'S MOTION FOR SUCH PARTS OF THE TREATY PENDING BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND HOLLAND, AS RELATED TO CESSIONS TO BE MADE BY THE FORMER TO THE LATTER.
Mr. SHERIDAN said, that as he was to be called upon so soon, to give his vote in approbation or dis
* The Duke of Richmond, in a conversation at a meeting of the society for Constitutional Information.
approbation of the peace, it was his duty to seek for such information as should enable him to form a just and safe judgment on so weighty and important a subject. The right honorable secretary had stated to the house, that Holland has acceded to the proposal of a cessation of hostilities; but he had said nothing relative to the state in which the treaty between that republic and this country at present stood; and yet it was, in his opinion, necessary that it should be known, before gentlemen could form a just and safe judgment on one of the articles of the treaty with France. The article to which he alluded was the sixteenth, wherein it is stated, "that if either of the contracting parties has any allies in India, they shall be invited to accede to the peace; and four months shall be given to them to consider of it, from the time that they shall have received such invitation; after which period of four months, it shall not be lawful for either of the contracting parties (England and France) to give these allies any assistance."-Now, as it was not stated in the article when these allies were to be invited to accede to the peace, it was in the power of France to withhold the invitation, on her part, as long as she pleased; and during that time, and for four months after, she should have given the invitation, she would find herself at liberty to assist her allies against us; and therefore might assist the Dutch in recovering their settlements, now in her possession, or Hyder Aly in over-running the Carnatic. In such a case he thought it would be the duty of the house immediately to address the crown, not to part with Trincomale, until such time as peace should be concluded, and ratified with Holland. This was a reason that made him wish to know in what state of progress the treaty between us and that republic was at present; and therefore he would desire to be informed if Trincomale, or any other late Dutch settlements, were to be restored to Holland. If he should find that they were, then he certainly would