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and paid him; with some other regulations on the same humane principle, and the bill to commence on the 25th of December, 1754. The bill was immediately brought in, and unanimously passed both Houses, with uncommon expedition.
Mr. Pitt took no part in the debates during the session, which ended on the 25th of April, 1755; and three days after, the King set out for Hanover.
ptath of Mr. Pelbam—Mr. Pox wishes lo be made Secretary of State, and Minister of the House of Commons—Explanation of Minister of the House of Commons—Mr. Pitt expects to be made Secretary of State—Sir Thomas Robinson appointedGeneral dissatisfaction—Party at Leicester House r—State of the nation.
Chap. X. *754>
wishes to be made secretary of state.
N March, 1754, Mr. Pelbam died. This event proved as satal to the ministry, as the death of the Prince of Wales had been to the opposition.
Mr. Fox, who was Secretary at War, wished to succeed to Mr. Pelham's situation, and the opposition offered to act under him, if he was appointed; but the Duke of Newcastle said, "he had been second minister long enough; that he would not have acted in that capacity under any body but his brother; and now his brother was gone, he would be at the head of the treasury himself." Mr. Fox then solicited the Duke to succeed his Grace in the office of Secretary of State: and it is very probable, that this request would have been granted, had he not insisted upon having the management of the House of Commons, which the Duke peremptorily resuse ed; and upon that point the negociation broke
The management of the House of Commons, Chap. X as it is called, is a considential department, un- s"»—>' known to the constitution. In the public accounts, it is immersed under the head of secret Minister service. It is usually given to the Secretary of ^^ of State, when that post is silled by a commoner. Commons, The business of the department is to distribute, with art and policy, amongst the members, who have no ostensible places, sums of money, for their support during the session; besides contracts, lottery tickets, and other douceurs. It is no uncommon circumstance at the end of a session, for a gentleman to receive sive hundred pr a thoufand pounds, for his service. *
* Mr. Fox was so consident his negotiation with the Duke would succeed, that while it was pending, he sent the follow*, ing letter to his friends;
"Sir, "The King has declared his intention to make me Secre* tary of State, and I (very unworthy as I sear I am of such an undertaking) must take the conduct of the House of Commons. I canuot theresore well accept the office, till after the first day's debate, which may be a warm one. A great attendance that day of my friends, will be of the greatest consequence to my future situation, and I should be extremely happy,' if you would, for that reason, shew yourself amongst them, to the great honour of, &c. &c. p H. FOX."
In the Memoirs of the Marchioness of Pompadour, (vol. I, pages 57,58, 59, Eng. Trans* l-j66.) we are presented with a very interesting anecdote, written to Cardinal Fleury, by an English Minister of that time.
"1 pension- (writes the Minister) half the parliament t» keep it quiet. But as the King's money is not sufficient, they, to whom I give none, clamour loudly for a war; it would be expedient for your Eminence to remit me three millions of Fresch livres, in order to silen.ee these barkers. Gold is a
Chap. X. When it was known, that the Duke of New* . V-TIV7**'caftle intended the treasury for himself, Mr. Pitt expected, that the Seals of Secretary of State Mr. Put would have been offered to him. It is certain,
beftcre- that he did not ask for them, but he expected *ary 0f them without asking. This disappointment was * Jtt- in some degree palliated, by making Mr. George Grenville, Treasurer of the Navy; who at that time lived in the utmost intimacy with Mr. Pitt, and they were become relations, by Mr. Pitt having lately married his sifter. Mr. Legge was apS;rT.Ro-Pointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sir binson aP- Thomas Robinjon Secretary of State, aud some pomte . otjjer alterations were made. But notwithslandr diSLing this arrangeme"t, there was a general dissatio'n. tissaction throughout all parties. Some disliked the measures, others disliked the men; in sine nobody was pleased; neither those in office, nor those out: and there was a new party forming, that seemed to menace more danger to their views, than their own differences. This was the party of Leicester-house, which threw a general
.Party at alarm, and consternation over the whole. No
metal which here corrects all ill qualities in the blood. A penlion of 2000I. a year will make the most impetuous warrior in parliament, as tame as a lamb."
By the help of this anecdote, we are enabled to comprehend the mystical meaning of a minister's planning of a parliament, and of a minister's condudivg a House of Commons. 1
The former phrase we sind used by Mr Tindal, in the octavo
edition of his history of England, vol. 21st, page 420 It
mns thus: Mr. P , besore his death, had settled the plan
•jfthe new parliament," and same vol. page 510, he sub-
one was quite certain of whom this party consist- Chap. X. ed. Several individuals in office, and in oppo- S"-Tf—J sition, were suspected of secretly belonging to' it
The flame of war had been kindled in North America, and it was preparing to burst out in Europe. Great Britain was every day more State of closely rivirted to the continent, by fresh engage-thenaUonments; while her own proper business was totally neglected. Her fleet was rotting in ordinary; her army, except such corps as were under the eye of the Duke of Cumberland, relaxed in discipline. Her ministers were timid by disunion, and their measures were enervated by ignorance. However Un pi easing the sact may be to relate, it is a sact, which the best informed persons will not contradict, that the principal, if not only attention of all descriptions os men, was employed at this time in intriguing and negotiating for places. But in this general assertion, it is not to be understood, that all par-' ties were'influenced by the fame motives. There is no doubt that some persons were actuated by the passion of self-interest; but it is equally true, that there were many who were governed by a sincere desire to serve the country; that offices were no otherwise their objects, than as they gave them power and situation to do good. This distinction it is not only proper, but necessary to make; because it was a principle laid down in the next reign, and the votaries of the court disseminated it with uncommon art and