Saturday, June 1.
The Lord Chancellor's Speech was read.
Mr Powle.] I always thought it a great offence in any
man to make a division betwixt the King and his people,
and those that do it to raise their fortunes from it; and
more especially in this conjuncture, the greatest possibly
we have known. We have had sharp Messages from the
King, and have been enquiring into the persons that have
given this advice. I wish the Lord Chancellor had taken
the advice himself he gives us, of "State super vias antiquas
(fn. 1) ." The Speech spoken by the Lord Chancellor, in the
Lords House, is not truly represented to us, in the printed paper. There are several things left out. 'Tis very
notorious that he said, "What we had done looks like a
defamation of the Government (fn. 2) ." And he called it "a
republican defamation of the King and House of Lords (fn. 3) ."
And a great many other passages he has mollified and
softened in the print. I pass by the smaller exceptions
that may be taken, and go to the greater; as that of laying an imputation upon us of the loss of Flanders
(fn. 4) .
I wonder we are accused of that crime, for had our offers and advices been followed, the Peace had never been
made; for which advice we had the sharp Speech from
the King. But I apply myself rather to that part of the
Speech where he lays reflections upon us. For any man
whatsoever, except the King, to pass such judgments
upon the House, is a high offence. Now whether that
League, or the censure we are under, was the cause of the
loss of Flanders, I leave to the world to judge. The
Chancellor puts weight upon our giving no money, and
our jealousies about religion [and then he reads that part
of the Chancellor's Speech relating to it, which see in the Notes]
and "that the Commons cannot think it suitable to
their trust, &c. (fn. 5) I think it can never be suitable to our
trust to give money and leave mens minds unquiet as to
the growth of Popery. But observe the time. It was
three months intermission of our Vote, &c. and in the
interim they treated Peace with the French King. Most
men were sensible that Popery was coming on, and
'twas reasonable to "quench our own fire first, &c. (fn. 6) "
Reasons were delivered, at a Conference with the Lords,
of our fears of Popery. The Lords might have given
you better reasons, and you might have receded, and ours
was no binding resolution against better reasons. The
last thing, &c. is about the Address (fn. 7) . I cannot imagine
to what part of the Address he applied. Was it to our
advice to the King? The King asked it, and we gave
it. Was it to our advice, to remove those Counsellors
that advised so ill? 'Tis the same thing, that this Parliament and all others have done, &c. The Chancellor
lays an imputation upon this House, for busying themselves about religion, grievances, and properties (fn. 8) . For
merly the Chancellors, in their Speeches, gave intimation
that we should be relieved in our grievances, and preserved in our privileges, before money was asked—But now
'tis quite otherwise. The first thing done is money. And
when that is granted, we are sent home to be "a scandal
to the Protestant religion (fn. 9) ;" to secure it is strange. I appeal to this House, that, if the Protestant religion is not in
danger, we have made Votes very idly. I think no
man can say that 'tis consonant to the use of Parliament
for a Lord Chancellor to tell us, "there are no grievances, or cause of complaint (fn. 10) ." And is not this to shut up
all doors to complaints?—What then is the use of Parliaments, unless to give money? That part of the Speech
is applied principally to the Commons. The Lords have
their share also in the Speech. The Chancellor says "it
takes away their negative voice, to have foreign matter
tacked to a Bill, &c." This is a reflection upon the Lords,
and the King and Council, who gave their consent to
the Bill. This arraigns us all. That notion I have of the
Peers consent is, that they have no "negative voice" in
Bills, but a deliberative voice. They may untack it, alter
it, and qualify it. In that part of his Speech, he is very
unjust upon us. To the Chancellor's republican reflection
of "power to the Commons altering the methods of Parliament, and by consequence the Government, by this way
of tacking" —This is such an imputation upon the
Commons, that if the Commons are guilty of it, they
are not fit to sit here. I need not go farther than Magna
Charta to prove this tacking of foreign matter to a Money
Bill. 14 E. III. Numb. 16. "The Commons grant the
ninth fleece, sheaf of corn, and lamb, to the King, in consideration of confirming Magna Charta." These conditions are in the last Chapter of all. 18 E. III. Numb. 10.
The Commons granted an aid, &c. "on condition their
petitions should be granted, &c." 22 E. III. "on condition
the justices in Eyre's court, and the forest, &c. should be
regulated, and that no tax should be granted but in Parliament." There are several other conditions, &c.
The thing is not new; and in those days, none of these
direful effects and consequences, that the Chancellor
mentions, have followed—These things are fatalities in the
Government, and not the nation's fault. The Chancellor
admonishes us, "to mend the faults of the last Session,
&c." That implies something of crimes, and we are not
told what they are; we might else have mended them.
I look upon these I have mentioned, as the principal
things liable to exception, in the Chancellor's Speech.
In the last Session but one, it was thought a crime to
debate whether this Parliament was dissolved by the
long Prorogation. But this is the way to dissolve all
Parliaments—And that we are not fit to be trusted. I
would have the House vindicate themselves, and vote ourselves not guilty of these things the Chancellor charges us
with, and "that we are not the occasion of making the
Peace with the French, nor the ill consequences of it."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] 'Tis objected "that the Lord
Chancellor, in his Speech, should charge us with being the
authors of the Peace, &c." But the States concluded that
the King and the Parliament being at difference, would not
prosecute the War, and they went into a Peace. He says,
"their Ministers said it." Now whether that be a crime
for a Minister of the King's to tell you what they say, I
leave it to you. And as for the fault being laid upon the
Parliament, we are not the whole Parliament; it is upon
the Lords as well as us. The Chancellor says, "Mend the
faults of the last Session." Why should not we say "the
fault was in the Lords delay of the Bill of Popery," &c.
In E. III's time there was no matter of tacking then,
as is alleged, &c. for the King might, by custom of Parliament then, take what he pleased of a Bill, and reject the
rest. That the King is to take all, or none of every Bill,
&c. was not till H. IV's time. But what will you make
of all this? Where will you complain, or of what? If
there be a difference between the King and the people,
the fault is somewhere. For a Minister to speak by the
King's command, it may be he's mistaken—The Lords
may be in the wrong, and the Commons in the right; [but
that] makes them not criminal. I see not how you can
arraign the Lord Chancellor of any fault.
Sir George Hungerford.] The King, in a Speech, gave
great encomiums to the Lords; the meaning was directed
to us. The Chancellor mentions "coffee-house discourse,
&c (fn. 11) . I suppose the Lord Chancellor goes not to coffeehouses. The same day we made a Vote about Religion
here, the King of France sent to the States for a Peace.
The fault is not at our doors, but the Lord Chancellor's.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I am afraid that the Vote
proposed, viz. "that you were not the cause of making
the Peace," will not answer any man's intentions, if he
had his own ends. I am afraid it will not answer his
own ends that proposed it. The Lord Chancellor speaks
the King's words, and by his command, which he cannot
alter, any more than I, as a Secretary, who write the Message, and bring it to you. It is far from reproaches upon
you, but it appears to me to be tenderness. We are under
misfortunes; and I am far from saying that the Dutch did
us right, when they construed things that passed here with
that extremity; but they had, without doubt, great influence upon affairs. Hungerford has told you right, that
"the King of France sent to the States for Peace, &c."
The King had that tye upon them that they declared in
the negative, and they were so aware of that, that they
made protestation that they would not depart from their
Treaties with us. As to this House, the construction they
put upon what you did, was the cause of the Peace; but I
say not how justly. If I saw a necessity of justification
of this House, I should do it. If things are not passed by,
there is no end of it, but paper conferences betwixt the
King and us. I think there is no great cause of this, and
the Question is much to the hazard of the Government,
when the parts agree not with the head. These parts of
the Chancellor's Speech are but for direction and recommendation of things. Where will that end, when the
Lord Chancellor's Speech is the King's, and you arraign
it? I humbly beg that you will not enter into the disquisition of that Article that was moved by Powle.
Mr Vaughan.] If any things be ill in the Speech, and
not warrantable by law, they are not the King's words,
but his that speaks them. I do not doubt but there will
come a day to show that these divisions betwixt the King
and us are not our crime, but our fate. A censure upon
the Commons of England is too big for any subject to
lay. I had the honour to be as deep as any man here
for a War with the French King. It was for the great
safety of the King and kingdom, and there was perfect
justice in it, and great duty and loyalty, &c. We have
ever held it the policy of England to keep Flanders in
such hands as may assist us. Now when we addressed
for a War against the French King, it was, because he,
contrary to Treaties, and Oath at the Altar, has done
all things for his own glory. And the stopping this torrent was just. If we do make ourselves great against
those people we have so often fetched victory from, those
who did advise War, I think, gave good advice—They that
made those divisions betwixt the King and us, are as bad
as they that fomented them. As for tacking, &c. when
we are going to War, was it not prudent to lessen his
power, and keep money in the nation, and hinder it from
going into his? The Chancellor tells us of "State super
vias antiquas." There is a precedent of 14 E. III. 19 E. III.
If the War ceases, the Grant ceases also. But it seems,
tacking must not be, because it is disgustful to some particular persons, though for the public good. I have
many more precedents, but I only desire you to clear the
imputation from the House, in the Chancellor's Speech.
Sir Thomas Lee.] That is a great mistake, "that all
that is said in the Chancellor's Speech, is by the King's
command." [He reads the beginning of the Speech.] This
he has by the King's command. "That we have done,
&c. to the defamation of the Protestant religion," is no
part of the King's command. I only observe that the
things objected are far from the King's command. The
style of the King's Speech and the Chancellor's differs.
In the King's there is no reflection upon us. Only he
tells you of "tacking." As for what you are told of
"Edw. III. rejecting and taking what parts of Bills he
pleased," now the King takes all or leaves all; yet the
condition being with money, I would ask any man, whether then the King could take the money, and leave all
the rest of the Bill? I am unwilling to look back to the
Palatinate War, in King James's time. I think at that
time there were fears of Popery, but all that time the
Fleet was not to be repaired—That was to give dissatisfaction to Gundomar. The same thing we were told,
"That the Leagues were the King's Leagues, and we
could not alter them."But now you give the King advice, you must bear all the blame! But 'tis not the
League, &c. I wish that, in three or four years, it appears not how much we are in the right, and they in the
wrong; and that this Peace be not the consequence that
Flanders be quite over-run, and so you pay all the reckoning at last. 'Tis not a Prorogation that makes an end
of Grievances. The King has them before him, and let
him make an end of them, if he pleases. They arriving
there, they have their utmost stop. In your absence by
this Prorogation, the affairs of Christendom have been altered. You were scattered and sent home, and that
made the Ministers then shift for themselves. I would
therefore leave it to posterity, that this House is not the
author of the Peace, that has had so ill an influence upon
Sir Thomas Meres.] The Question is very plain, and
in a few words, and the better, viz. "That this House
has not given any occasion for making the Peace mentioned in the Chancellor's Speech."
Lord Cavendish.] I move that the Question may be,
"That the imputation in the Chancellor's Speech, of
this House being the occasion of making the Peace, is
injurious to this House."
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I'll go so far, "That the House
is not the occasion of making the Peace, &c." But I
would have the Vote to explain itself; therefore add, so as
to leave no room to seek what Peace you mean, "the
Peace mentioned in the Chancellor's Speech."
Sir Adam Brown.] I understand not the Question. We
are not told in the Chancellor's Speech that it is a Peace.
It may be a War yet.
Mr Garroway.] You are no way tender in this matter, but to vindicate your own honour. Therefore I
move that the words of the Question may be, "That
this House was not the occasion of making the Peace
mentioned in the Chancellor's Speech."
Sir George Downing.] I do not find it charged upon you,
in the Chancellor's Speech, that you were the occasion
of the Peace. If the States and Spain will go upon
grounds that you have not done, there's no reflection upon you. This they affirm in matter of fact; but if they
said not so in matter of fact, and they have misled themselves in it, to make a Peace, that must rest upon proof.
In my opinion 'tis not a time to aggravate things; and
to look back will do you no good. Time will judge for
you, and vindicate you, and make you honourable and
great, as that of Britany, &c. And a Vote is not worth
a button. Your Books will show it sufficiently without
a Vote. And I would stand and fall by the judgment of
Sir William Coventry.] I hope it is not your intention
to press this thing personally upon the Chancellor, but
to take a rise only from his Speech to vindicate yourselves upon this great matter of the Peace. I doubt not
but your advices would have remained to posterity, as to
the matter of the War, &c. had not something in this
Speech been thrown upon you, to lay an imputation upon you, by a foreign Ambassador. I take it, that the
King's honour, and our's, has been aspersed, and not
vindicated. I am sorry it has not been better managed
in another place, that the whole scandal should be thrown
upon the Parliament and nation. I wonder that's let
slip. 'Tis admitted, "that that very day we voted the
Address against Popery, &c. the States admitted the
French King's terms of Peace." Then sure that Address
was not the occasion of the Peace. The Vote for entering into Leagues was subsequent, four, five, or six days,
and could not be the cause; that was yet later than the
other. To hear that the Parliament was angry with
those that obstructed the Alliances, &c. I see that cannot
be the colour of it. When the King, Parliament, and
all his people were so clear in it, I wonder that a thing
so natural to be vindicated, was not. I am far from reflection on the Chancellor, but what I say, is to vindicate ourselves. The words offered for the Question
seem to come from calm and temperate reasoning, and I
would have them put to the Vote.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Coventry's reason is plain;
the Dutch have taken occasion, &c. but none has been
given, and the King and the House have not been done
right by. I told the States Ambassadors, "if they made
that inference from us, they made a wrong conclusion
upon us. Do but assist with men and ships, and we will
have War to-morrow." We told them, "Do this, and
you cure all our misunderstandings, and the fault is at
your doors." This was my duty—And the same was
ordered to the King's Ministers, on the other side the water. I shall say it strongly, that the Saturday's Address
against the Ministers was another occasion of the thing.
The matter of the Treaty is the King's, and this likewise they raised as an argument too for the Peace. This
occasion of vindicating the King and you was not overlooked, and in repelling, and refuting it, to the Ambassadors. And I desire no Question of that kind moved may be put.
Sir William Coventry.] We are told by Williamson,
"That vindication, &c. was not wanting."I give him
thanks for it. I am glad it was refuted by him. But
it seems it was not so taken notice of as for the Chancellor to know it. He would never else have declared it in
the face of Parliament, but with a brand upon the Dutch
for it. Williamson refuted it where he met it; but who
has done it in the face of the kingdom, and the Parliament? The whole nation does take it so much to heart,
that if those services are expected from this Parliament to
be done, if it be intended to preserve our reputation, we
must be vindicated from this, else we shall never be able
to do the King that service we ought to do. I think the
Question proposed is very modest; but not seeing any
thing more modest proposed, I am for what is proposed.
Sir Robert Howard.] This Question proposed is as if
your own Addresses would not justify you. And now
you go and make a paper-defence, as if one should ask,
"How does your neighbour?" and it should be answered, "He is not himself, he is mad."—And so as if this
House of Commons should vote "that we are not mad."
I desire closures in all things, and I think it not for your
honours to make this Vote.
Mr Powle.] Ford seemed to say something of "an ill
precedent of arraigning the Chancellor's Speech." I ingenuously confess, that, as I know no such precedent of
arraigning the Chancellor's Speech, so I know no precedent of such a Speech.
Sir Edmund Jennings.] It is Spain and Holland that
have made the reflection upon us, of making the Peace;
therefore I would have the Question, "That Spain and
Holland ought not to take occasion, from any thing from
this House, to make a Peace with the French." This, for
aught you know, may make Spain and Holland ashamed
of what they have done.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I desire a word to the Question.
Here you have a Speech of the Chancellor's, that I wish
had not been made. We had a Prorogation, and I hoped good effects might have been upon it, to have begun
upon a new force; but I find old things are ript up. I
have no aversion to the Chancellor, but I would vindicate ourselves. Here is a Speech made, and printed,
different from what the Chancellor has spoken; either
the printed one was not the King's mind, or that which
was spoken. I take it either way; whether the reflection is from the States, &c. or the Chancellor, we ought
to vindicate ourselves. But because you are told by
Downing "that (as in the case of Britany) time will
sufficiently vindicate you," put the case that the Parliament had then left it so far upon them, and silence
had admitted it; had the Parliament in those times sat
still, the Question is, whether future time would have
vindicated them, any more than it is now likely to vindicate us. It is therefore high time to vindicate ourselves. When Armies are disbanded, and all the Confederates Army, but the French Army remains, what a
condition are we in? What will become of us? We are
safe neither in War nor Peace. The Dutch will be wholly
at the French disposal, and then unity amongst ourselves
will not help us. I disclaim the Peace, and I hope every
man will be of my mind, that we had no hand in it.
Sir Winston Churchill.] The Lord Chancellor is a great
master of words, and he weighs them before he speaks
them. His words are rather a relation of the matter,
than an accusation of us. But supposing they were an
accusation, and he speaks his own sense (if he might speak
it there) shall the House of Commons say no more than
the greatest criminal? "Not guilty," and no more?
You must go farther; but in some sense, I think, we
are guilty. For our continual pressures of the King of
France in this House have brought him to this Peace.
'Tis a maxim in a book now recalled, "That the King
of France might have all the world his enemies, if England were his friend." Then put the case, that we are
as clear as may be imagined from being the occasion of
this Peace, will you now invite dangers, by proclaiming
them? It becomes wise counsellors to contemn them, rather than show them, by proclaiming them in Gath and
Askalon. Let us fortify ourselves by some brave resolutions; but to hang the fault on I know not whom—I
would lay aside this Question, and go upon something
that the King and country may thank us for.
Sir George Hungerford.] You are told (by Williamson)
"That the Dutch made some part of the Chancellor's
Speech." I would know who made the rest. The Army
was pretended to be raised against France, but all the
world knows there was no such intention. I would have
the Question put.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If Hungerford can make that
good that he says, of the Army, there's an end of all.
Sir George Hungerford.] The world says this Peace was
made in January, and the Army was raised since.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] When the King has told you
upon his royal word, that he intended a War with France,
I wonder this should be said.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Where does War appear? Does it
in this League we are shewn?
Sir Thomas Littleton.] If exceptions are taken at Hungerford's words, the first thing to be done is to have them
written down [And there was a great cry, "Write them
Lord Cavendish.] When there was a vote for 300,000l.
for men and ships—
The Speaker interrupted him to Order, to have the words
written down.] The words were these, "We all know
there was no intention of a War against France."
Lord Cavendish.] The words were these, "We have
reason to believe there was no War intended against
Mr Papillon.] The words were, "If it be true, as the
world says, there was no War intended against France."
Another said.] The words were, "We know all the
world says there was no War intended against France."
Mr Goring.] Yesterday there was a Grand Committee
for disbanding the Army, but I see now there is need of
keeping it up, if these things are said here. [These words
gave such offence that several called "To the Bar."]
Sir George Hungerford.] What I said I do say again,
viz. "That the world says so, and it is said abroad,
&c." My intention was, "If it be true what the world
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If this be, it is to turn the
Government into dissimulation. I confess that there is no
War is a great disappointment, and Gentlemen may have
some grains of allowance. But the words were very broad,
and if admitted will render the Government a cheat to all
abroad. But if the House be off from debating the words,
I am so too.
Sir Thomas Lee.] When the Gentleman has plainly told
you what his intention was in the words, and the House
seems satisfied, I would proceed in the Question you were
Mr Secretary Coventry.] When Gentlemen oppose
"what the world says" against "what the King says," it
cannot pass without notice.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The Lord Chancellor says, "the
King had gained a great point upon them for that Peace,"
but still it was a League offensive and defensive for a
Peace. The intentions were for a Peace. Since Williamson is so fruitful of admonitions how we should demean
ourselves, I would have him take some himself, and so
behave himself like other honourable Ministers, who take
things to themselves, and lay them not upon the King.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] Whenever I ease myself,
or other persons, I desire to do it upon myself rather than
Colonel Birch.] Do what you will about reading the
words, but keep the Order of the House. You are not
to take notice of words till the Gentleman has done, because you know not what he will say to soften and meliorate what he has said. This, I understand, is a pretty
kind of diversion. I affirm that Hungerford had not made
an end of what he had to say.
Sir William Coventry.] I rise to speak to the words that
fell from Hanmer, viz. "That he did not see how any
Gentleman that had taken the Oath of Allegiance, can sit
here and suffer Hungerford's words." Thereby he censures
all those who do not condemn Hungerford as criminal.
That Gentleman, and Hungerford, and forty more may
be sent to the Tower, upon that construction, at this rate.
But I would lay aside both what Hanmer and Hungerford
have said, and proceed to the Question.
Lord Cavendish.] The King never told us it was a War
with France. The Ministers have, and may we not arraign the Ministers?
Mr Swynfin.] The Gentleman, by Order, who takes
exception at the words, is to tell you the words. Williamson has taken exception. But every time the words have
been asserted several ways, and the words are not asserted
but with very vast differences. And I have the whole
House to be my witnesses.
Then the Clerk read the words, viz. "The world says, and I
do believe, there never was intended a War."
The Speaker.] When the words are not agreed to,
any Gentleman may better inform you what the words
were. I take the words to be these, "There has been
an Army raised, under pretence of a War against France;
but we and all the world know, there was no intention of
a War against the French."
Mr Sacheverell.] I aver that those were not the words.
Sir Robert Sawyer.] This is almost as great an affront
to the House as any that has been yet, for any Gentleman
to say "those were not the words," without showing
you what were the words. I would know what the
meaning of that is.
Sir George Hungerford.] I am sorry to be so unhappy
as to be misunderstood. I have served the King faithfully. I only spoke this as the censures of those abroad,
as the Chancellor has told you of "Coffee-house discourse." I beg the pardon of the House for what I
said. I intended no reflection on the King, nor on any
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] Exceptions were taken because the words reflected on the Government. But if the
House be satisfied, I am, and would go on to other business; and if you are not satisfied, you may, according to
Order, proceed to censure the Gentleman.
Sir Robert Howard.] I would adjourn the Debate of
this matter, for by it you may save the King 5000 l. the
Army standing him in so much a day.
The Question was thus proposed, viz. "That the Proceedings
of this House were not the occasion of the Peace mentioned by
the Lord Chancellor in his Speech."
Sir William Coventry.] What will the censure be abroad,
when the Question is to justify the House, that after so
many hours Debate, we should not come to a Question!
For our honour's sake let us come to a Question.
Sir Edward Dering.] I am against adjourning the Debate. Either it is useful and necessary, or not. Therefore put the previous Question, and they that are against
it, are against that.
The House divided upon the addition to the Question, viz.
"mentioned by the Lord Chancellor in his Speech." Which
passed in the negative [181 to 146.]
Mr Powle.] We are like to bear the charge of the War,
and the reproach of the Peace. I would therefore have
something on our books to justify us.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] 'Tis not new that the thing
should not be bare-faced on your books; we have been
so all along for a War.
The Question passed, viz. "That the proceedings of this
House have not occasioned a Peace (fn. 12) ."
Occasionally, upon going into a Grand Committee, this was
read out of the Journal. "March 18, 1667. Mr Prynne reports
from the Committee about Orders, &c. "If any motion be made
for a public charge upon the nation, the House doth not presently
enter into Debate of the consideration of it, but is adjourned.
And then it is referred to a Committee, for their opinion, before
any resolution be thereupon."
June 3, 4 (fn. 13) , and 5, were spent upon the Tax Bill for disbanding the Army (fn. 14) .
Thursday, June 6.
Complaint was made of a foreign ship come into [the] port
[of Portsmouth] laden with French goods, and seized by virtue
of the Act [for prohibiting French commodities; a doubt having
arisen, touching the meaning of the word "imported."]
Mr Vaughan] It is the mechanic practice of Westminster
Hall to elude what good laws you make. (He reads the
Clause of the Prohibition.) The case stands thus: If a vessel
come into a port, it shall not be judged "importation,"
unless she have broken bulk, and stay in port two, three,
or four weeks; and you are put to the cost of attendance,
and yet she may have all her goods stolen away by land.
This Law is for preventing the mischief of vanity and
luxury, in spending French commodities, and for exporting your own commodities. The best expositors of Laws
are the Legislators, who know their own intention in
making Laws. And though, God forbid your opinion
should influence, yet it may guide them, and very much,
in the first impression of a Law. And it came from
Provence, and so to London. If you pass an explanatory
Vote, 'tis not in terrorem, but in cautelam; and I would
have such a Vote.
Colonel Birch.] If your Law could be executed according to your intention—If there come no linnen from
France, yet from Germany—I would have you refer this to
a Committee to bring you a report speedily what's fit to
be done in it. That's all I'll trouble you with.
Mr Sacheverell.] Whether the case is the same in the
prohibition, &c. If they come into port only, without
stress of weather, or other accident, it is "importation"
in Law—See how the times are altered. In K. James and
Q. Eliz. Juston and Studd's case; in Plowden's Commentaries, Magdalen College case. There ought to be no
interpretation of a Law made, but to advance the public
good, against any private case. I would have a declaratory Law, and in the mean time a Vote, &c. and this
Law may do more good than the other.
Mr Papillon.] We have a trade in several countries;
and shall a ship bound from one friend's country, and put
into port by stress of weather, be forfeited; no bills of
lading in the case for England, and no consigns? It will
be a very hard case to judge this ship forfeited.
Mr Garroway.] I would refer this to a Committee to
examine matter of fact, and to report to you the particular case. And I hope you may arrive at your end that
way. A ship, under pretence of carrying a little salt to
Hamburgh, may land French goods easily, whilst she is in
Colonel Titus.] There are more French goods in this
ship, than can be sold at Hamburgh in forty years. And
this would be an evading of your Law. But as the Law
is, there is some difficulty on the informer's part, for his
encouragement; and he will not make the fire that he
warms not himself by (fn. 15) .
Mr Williams.] To load a Motion, is to baffle a Motion.
That the goods in this ship are French goods, is plain;
and that they were to be landed in England in boats. That
is the Question, whether they be forfeited, or no. Some
Lawyers will say, they are not forfeitable, and you cannot, by a Vote, make a prohibition to proceedings in
Westminster-Hall. But it may be proper for you to make
an explanation of a Law made in the same Parliament.
Sir William Coventry.] Divers Gentlemen have spoken,
and all agree to matter of fact. I would therefore lose
no time, but refer it to a Committee.
[Which was done accordingly.]
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I beg leave to put you in
mind of repaying the King 200,000l. you promised him.
It carries with it a sum more, and makes that part of
his Revenue, it was taken up upon, useless, which was
taken up upon your desire, and at your Motion. Pray
call for the account of it before you, for your satisfaction.
Sir Thomas Meres.] You have ordered a Bill for disbanding the Army, and I have it ready for you; do
what you will with it, I'll bring it up.
Sir John Ernly.] I hope you will take some care of this
sum the King has disbursed, &c. for it is charged upon
that part of the Revenue that he must eat bread by. After
the Bill proffered you is read, pray take this into your
Sir William Coventry.] Mr Cheney seems to challenge
it as a right, that a Motion must have precedency of an
Order of the House for a Bill. A Motion is but a Motion, let it come from whom it will. But it has no right
to be accepted because it is the first Motion. Where was
this money moved for laid out, by land, or by sea? Surely,
it was not in the clouds. When we see the accounts stated by the officers of the Navy and Ordnance, then you'll
see how this money has been laid out.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I suppose you'll read the Bill for disbanding the Army, for the necessity of the expedition.
As for the other Motion, it is in effect already done. It
must either be for the Extraordinaries of the Navy, or
Preparations for the Army. It must be one of those,
or the ordinary expence; else, before you see the Extraordinaries of the Navy, you make an Order for what's already ordered, as if the thing should be twice paid.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] My meaning in minding
you of it, was, because the House thought themselves
under some engagement. And there is nothing ordered
for this day.
The Debate went off, and the Bill was read.
Mr Secretary Coventry interrupted the House while the
Bill was reading, in the middle of it, and excepted against
the Bill, as not drawn according to the Order of the House,
but by some private person.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington] I have not met with the
same proceedings, as in this Bill. I was one of the Committee, but I had so much business, I could not attend.
But I prepared a Bill, and got it ready, out of respect to the
Committee, and the Order of the House. In the passing
the Poll Bill, and the Ship-money Bill, the King's Sollicitor, or the Attorney General, had the drawing the Bill.
I had one ready: and this morning, I understand, another
Bill is brought in. I know not the meaning of it, and I
thought sit to inform you of it.
The Speaker.] You have agreed upon several heads
for a Bill, &c. and referred the drawing of it to a Committee, or any three of them. If that has been done, it
comes regularly before you. If not, it is irregular.
Colonel Birch.] I spoke to several of the Committee to
meet, and accordingly a Committee did meet, and drew
Mr Powle.] Three of the Committee did meet. I
came, and I consented to it, and did agree to the Bill.
Sir Robert Howard.] Some of the Committee asked me
for certain books in my office. I came to the Committee,
and found a Gentleman in the Chair. Most of this Bill
was extracted out of the other Bill. I sent two messengers
to find out Mr Sollicitor, and I found him out at the
Sir Thomas Lee.] When a Gentleman informs you that
a Bill hath not been drawn by a Committee, and the
thing is not so, and you have your reading of the Bill
interrupted by it, the House ought to have reparation.
The Speaker.] In all Bills, it is necessary to appoint
time and place, to be drawn in; this Bill had no such Order; it was only referred to a Committee to draw the
Sir Robert Howard.] If it be so, that a Bill cannot be
drawn without Mr Sollicitor, I would be told so, that he
may be stayed for by the Committee.
Colonel Birch.] I except against another thing, as if
the Order of the House was, that the Bill should come
through the Sollicitor's hands. I would never have that
thought of here, but go on.
Sir John Ernly.] I would know whether any of the
three Gentlemen, that attended the Committee, will avow
that they did read the Bill.
Sir Thomas Meres.] I drew the Bill according to the
Breviate in the Speaker's hand, and by directions. All was
agreed to, and the Bill was read over twice at the Committee.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] It seems, Secretary Coventry tells
you, "that the Committee did not draw the Bill." I affirm likewise, for I was casually there, that I heard all the
Bill read over. (So the Clerk proceeded in reading the Bill,
and the Complaint went off).
The Motion for 200,000l. was resumed, &c.
Mr Garroway.] If they will demand the sum, and apply it neither to the ships nor the land forces, it must be
for intelligence. I would see what head this sum is under,
before we consider of it.
Mr Powle.] The King said "He could neither speak
nor act without such a sum, &c." You desired him to go
on, and you would pay him. Then we were prorogued;
and when we met again, we found neither "speaking nor
acting" at all. The King did "speak" then, what I am
sorry to remember now; and as for "acting," our soldiers
fought under the French banners all that summer. This
is the "speaking and acting;" and nothing done towards
Alliances from May to January, and our promise of the
money was, to the end the King should have done it immediately. I believe we are not engaged to re-imburse
the money, for there is nothing done that we desired. I
believe we shall find many workmen and stores in arrear,
and I am confident you are put upon the point for that.
If you will, consider first whether you are obliged or no.
If you will consider of Accounts offered you, you admit
the thing. Therefore I would adjourn the House.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I can say, by virtue of that
Act, men have lent money, and had security upon it—And
that, by virtue of your promise, that security is not revocable. Appoint a day that the House may be certified,
and see what the Accounts are.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am not afraid of this Debate, at its
proper time. Saturday I would have our Address read,
and our Reasons, and see how far we are obliged, and
appoint that time also, to see what great sums have gone
out of the Exchequer for secret service, by Privy Seals.
Colonel Titus.] If it belongs to you to pay them, you
may order taking the Accounts; if not, it belongs to you
to take no Accounts. And that is the Debate proper to
Sir William Coventry.] We have no other absolution
from this charge, but that the thing was not in pursuance
of our intention. But for avoiding the promise by the
Prorogation, that part I disclaim wholly.
A Debate arising, Whether the Accounts for the Disbursement
of the 200,000l. be brought in on Saturday, that Debate was