Thursday, February 1.
Debate on his Majesty's Answer.
Mr Paul Foley.] I am of opinion that the King's Answer to
the Representation does not come up to what is aimed at; that
we aimed at a settlement in the point, to have all our reasonable
Bills of right to be passed; but since it can be no otherwise
done, we must tack our Grievances to our Money-Bills; for
we have just Fears and Grievances as long as we have a standing
Army. The King tells us, "He has a great regard to our
Constitution;" but it appears not that he understands our Constitution, which he may take to be to reject our Bills of ever
so just Grievances. I move "That an humble Address may
be made to the King for a farther Answer."
Sir Robert Cotton.] What is said in the King's Answer tends
to full satisfaction (And so reads each Paragraph, and with sirained
inserences descants thereon, like a Courtier.)
Mr Hutchinson.] The King says, "He is sensible of the good
Affection we have expressed on many Occasions:" I am sorry
it should not be expressed on all Occasions—The King
may still reject our Bills as before, for any Assurance given us
in his Answer. I think that, unless you keep the love of the
People (whose Money you have freely disposed of) by securing
to the People what the King promised at first, good correspondence with the King cannot be. (And so reflects on Officers.)
Sir Thomas Littleton.] It is hard to reflect on his Majesty's
Words in such wise, by making such nice distinction betwixt
"many Occasions," and "all Occasions." I think that his
Majesty's Answer is very pat to the purpose. You make a Prayer
at the end of the Representation, and his Majesty ties up his
Answer to that Prayer, which desired nothing farther than is
expressed in the Prayer. Would any man desire that the King
should take occasion to say, "That he is sorry he did not pass
the Bill, and that he will do so no more?" These expressions
would not become his Majesty. I think it hard that such reflections should be upon those in Office, to be represented false to their Country: Pray let them be proved false,
and punish them as severe as you will; but till such falsity is
proved, pray let no man suffer for doing double duty to his
King and Country both. We have many Enemies without
doors, some at the very doors of the House, others at Cabals,
who would be glad of our dissatisfaction with the King's Answer.
But I, for my part, have a way how to guide my Vote always
in the House, which is to vote contrary to what our Enemies
without doors wish.
Sir John Thompson.] The Member that spoke last, hath a
very uncertain rule to guide his voting, for our Enemies may
alter their Opinion of Government, and all things, and daily do
so, to make room for their better Fortunes. I do not take the
Debate to be betwixt this House and the King, but betwixt
this House and the Ministers, which if we remove not, they will
remove us, and if your interest cannot do it, when the Government hath reed of you, what will become of you hereafter? I
take the King's Answer to be responsum commune, which serves
for any thing, and at any time, either at the beginning, in the
middle, or at the ending of a Parliament. I would humbly address the King for a farther Answer, more satisfactory.
Mr Comptroller Wharton.] I am sorry that any exception is to
the King's Answer. It would be a difficult thing to draw up
so many lines as the King's Answer doth consist of, so exactly,
that it should not be possible for men of fine understanding to
take some exception thereto. I take the Answer to be a promise,
that, for the future, his Majesty will pass our public Bills. I
find that those that are most dissatisfied, will not come up,
neither can, to say that the King has not a right to reject
Bills: Yet I am of that mind, that the Ministers that advised,
did ill in so advising.
Mr Bathurst spoke as usual
Sir Charles Sedley.] I know not how a crowned Head can
descend to other Answer—But an offender at the Bar may be expected to say he will do so no more—(In what else he said he was
not well heard.) I move, to rest satisfied.
Sir John Lowther.] The exceptions taken to the King's
Speech, I think, are but few, and not strong. I think the exception by a worthy Member (Hutchinson) was rather a grammatical nicety—Next, I wonder much at an expression by some
that have spoken, "that the King was altered himself." Upon
the whole, I think it a gracious Answer.
Col. Granville.] I think there is but one objection to the
King's Answer, and that is, that it is no Answer at all, and
therefore, for the same reason, I think fit to make a Representation.
I am dissatisfied with an insufficient Answer. I therefore declare, I am for farther application for a farther Answer.
Col. Mordaunt.] I question whether the Answer called "Gracious" yesterday be so to-day. I think it doth not answer the
intention of the Gentlemen that drew the Representation, neither
doth it answer the body, but I am of opinion that it answers
the Prayer at the ending thereof. I would willingly have a
better Answer, but not by jangling and farther representing,
which will show we did not well at first. But I would have
us stay and observe what the King will do, for the future, in passing Bills.
Mr Henry Herbert.] Your Prayer is "That, for the future, &c." And the King answers, and says, "He shall have regard to Parliaments;" which I take to be a promise for the future.
Mr Harley.] I could have wished his Majesty's Answer so
clear, that all might have been satisfied: I could wish it had been
more categorical and particular, and not an Answer by Inference
only; for one man will make one Inference, and another infer
quite the contrary. The King hath formerly said, in public
Speeches and Declarations, "That he will be ready to pass all
Bills for the satisfaction of his People;" and I could have wished
this had been passed. I move to address for a farther Answer.
Mr Norris.] I think, the next time a public Bill is rejected,
we shall have the best occasion to address for a farther Answer.
Mr Hungerford.] The King says, "He will have regard to
the Advice of Parliaments," yet he may have greater to the Cabinet-Council, to the Privy Council, or any single Person.
Lord Digby.] If no Representation had been, I could better
have let this matter have rested; but since you have appointed
this day solemnly to take into consideration the King's Answer,
I think fit to expect farther Answer; for this is so general, that
the Answer will serve any thing, and for the future will be the
same to all Addresses, as one agreed to by the Commons. This
would not have been an Answer in former reigns; in this I expected
a much better.
Admiral Russel.] I do not agree at all with the Lord that
spoke last before me. I do not fear the King will make this Answer to every thing; for to me it seems plain that he promises
for the future—I think, very great reflection hath been made
upon those that have places. I acknowlege I have one, but I
am as honest therein as any man that hath none. I move, That
the House should be satisfied with this Answer.
Sir John Knight] (Rumbled nothing to the purpose.)
Sir John Morton] Takes down Sir John Knight, (who had asked
leave to go into the Country) to order, and says, You have given
that worthy Member leave to go into the Country, and I desire
no farther Disturbance may be given to the House by him.
Brigadier Leveson.] I observe an Objection, "That the King's
Answer may serve to any thing." Then why not to the Representation? At such a rate of receiving the King's Answer, I
think it the best way, that those that penned the Representation,
should have gone to have penned his Majesty's Answer.
Mr Boscawen.] Before the Question be put, "Whether you
will address the King, whether a farther Answer should be required, or not," I would have the condition of our affairs considered, and the posture. Hannibal ad portas is our condition. I
do not justify the Answer as very exact and categorical. In some
times, and some seasons, some things are to be passed by, and at
this time I would have us rest satisfied.
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] You have a great matter before
you, "Whether you have an Answer given to your Representation,
or not," of which so much has been said, that I have little lest
to say. I do not find the King hath considered the grief of the
Commons, nor of the passing our Bills. The prospect is melancholy: For, suppose that we should have Peace, why truly
what can we expect by such an Answer, which I think neither an Answer to the Body, nor to the Prayer, of the Representation? He only says, "He will have a regard to Parliaments." For my part, I desire a good Correspondence, but can
any one think less could be said? And plainly nothing is said,
"That our Bills shall be passed for the future." But the King's
Declarations have been such, that blame cannot be laid to the
King, but it must be some ill private Counsel; since I hear from
those of the Council, and those of the Cabinet, that they
know nothing of this Answer. I move for a farther Representation.
Sir Walter Yonge.] I cannot agree, "That no Consideration hath been." For the King told you "He would consider, and give Answer," and so, no doubt, he hath considered.
I take the King's Answer to be plainly, and in effect, that he
owns your Constitution, and will pass your Bills without taking
Advice of any to the contrary.
Mr Smith.] Was I not afraid that the negative Voice should
be made a farther use of, I would have let this Question have
rested, most contentedly. The Question, "Whether we should
address farther, or not," is a dangerous Question: Therefore
I think it best to wait, and see what will be done at the next
tender of our Bills. If Peace comes, I am in no such Fears
as some have suggested, for there will be so great a Debt upon
the Crown, that it cannot set up for itself.
Mr Goodwin, Wharton, and two or three more,spoke, but to the
same purpose with others before them.
[The Question being put, That an humble Application be
made to his Majesty, for a farther Answer to the humble Representation of this House; it passed in the Negative, 229 to 88 (fn. 1) .
Friday, February 16.
Mr Rainsford's Examination, and Lord Falkland's Information,
before the Commissioners of Accounts, being read, and Lord
Falkland having been heard, and withdrawn;
A Motion being made, and the Question being put, That
Lord Falkland, being a Member of this House, by begging and
receiving 2000l. from his Majesty, contrary to the ordinary
Method of issuing and bestowing the King's Money, is guilty of
a high Misdemeanor and Breach of Trust; it passed in the Affirmative, 143 to 126.
Resolved, That Lord Falkland be committed to the Tower
of London, during the Pleasure of this House; and that Mr Speaker
do issue his Warrant accordingly (fn. 2) .