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Sir Robert Walpole, now Earl of Orsord, did hot approve of the nomination of Lord Carteret for his successor at the treasury; and as Mr. Pulteney hid declined that port, he managed the King to insist upon Lord Wilmington for it. Lord Wilmington had been Sir Robert's president of the council from 1732 *. It was some triumph to the opponents, to fee him so soon baffled in hi* arrangement. The Duke of Argyll observed to him on the occasion at a large meeting of their friends at the Fountain tavern in the Strand -f,
* To this appointment Sir Charles Hanbury Williams alludes in a beautisul stanza. Lord Wilmington had, upon the accession of George the Second, been osfered the treasury; if he would undertake to encrea/e the civil list from 700,aool. to 8oo,oooL but he was timid, and declined the offer; upon which the offer was next made to Sir Robert Walpole, who accepted it J and became minister fiom that circumstance alone.
Why did you cross God's good intent \
Back to that station go;
And have not got it now.
f This meeting was held on the 12th of February, 1742. There were near 300 members of both Houses of Parliament present. Amongst them were the following:—Dukes of Bedford and Argyll—Marquis of Caernarvon—Earls of Exeter, Berkshire, Chesterfield, Carlisle, Aylsbury, Shaftjbury, Litchfield, Oxford, Rockinghami Halifax, Stanhope, Macclesfield, Darnley, Barrimore, Grauard—Viscounts Cobham, Falmeuth, Limerick, Gage, Chetivynd—Lords Ward, Gotuer, Bathurst, Talbot, Strange, Andover, Guernsey, Shiarendon, Percival—Sir Edward Seymour, Sir Charles Mtrdaunt, Sir Erasmus Philips, Sir Robert Grosvenor, Sir Edward Bering, Sir Roger Burgoyne, Sir "John Hind Cotton, Sir Henry Northcote, Sir William Careiv, Sir Miles Slapylton, Sir Hugh Smithfon, Sir William Morris, Sir John Rushtut, Sir Michael Nevuten, Sir Ro^er Tivifden,
, D 2 Sir
Chat. "That a grain of honesty was worth a cart-load
IIL of gold."
T^sT-1 The Earl of Harrington, who had been Sir i742, *
Robert's secretary of state, was made president
of the council. Lord Carteret accepted of Lord Harrington*i seals ; and Mr. Sandys was made chancellor of the exchequer, with a new board of treasury. A new board of admiralty, with the Earl of Winchelsea at the head, were all the alterations of any consequence that were made.
The disappointment os the nation at this trifling change of a few men, was greater than can be described. Many of the most respectable parts of the community were provoked and exasperated to the use of the bitterest language, which could express their execration and abhorrence of the junction that was thus formed between Mr. Pultenty and the friends of the late minister.
Sir Robert Long., Sir Charles Wyndham, Sir Jermyn Da-vers,
The purpose of the meeting was to consider of what was expedient to be done in the present critical conjuncture. But it -was too late; the arrangements -were fettled before the meeting %vas called.
It is to this meeting that Sir Charles Hanbnry Williami alludes, in one of his Odes to Mr. Pulteney; where, invoking the Muse to display his Hero's merit, he says:
Then enlarge on his Cunning and Wit;
Say, how the Old Patriots were bit.
The new Ministry charged with having hargainedfor. the safely of the Earl of Or ford—Motion for an Enquiry into the Earl \of Orford's Condutl—Mr. Pitt's Speech in support of that Motion—Motion lost—Second Motion, limiting the Enquiry to the last ten tears —Mr. Pitt's Speech in support of this Motion.—The Enquiry defeated by a Parliamentary Manœuvre.
J\ N important charge was brought against the new ministry by their opponents, who affirmed, in most direct and positive terms, that Mr. Pulteneyhad sirst, and that his friends had afterwards, bargained with the Court, for the fasety of the Earl of Orford; that it was expressly on that condition they were admitted into office; and upon that tenure only, that they held their employments; that such bargain was a fale of the public considence, and a total dereliction of principle; that there was a treason against the people as well as against the Crown, and that this was the superlative degree of that treason. And in order to put these assertions to 'the test, a motion Motion
M" tor an en
was made in the House of Commons, on the 9th quiry into
of March, 1742, by Lord Limerick (whose son Sir Rwas created Earl ot Clanbrafill) for an enquiry CQ^°^ * into the conduct of the late administration, during the last twenty years: In support of this * motion, Mr. Pitt spoke in reply to Mr. Pilhatn,
who had opposed it, and said, " that it would "considerably shorten the debate, if gentlemen would keep close to the argument, and not '* run out into long harangues and flowers of ** rhetoric, which might be introduced upon "any other subject, as well as the presentto which Mr. Pitt replied:
"What the gentlemen of the ether side mean by long harangues, or flowers of rhetoric, I shall not pretend to guess; but if they make use of nothing of that kind, it is no very good argument of their sincerity; for a man who speaks from his heart, and is sincerely assected with the subject he speaks on, a9 every honest man must be when he speaks in the cause of his country; such a man, I say, salls naturally into expressions which may be called slowers of rhetoric, and therefore deserves as little to be charged with affectation as the most stupid serjeant at that ever spoke for half a guinea a see. For my part, I have heard nothing in savour of the question, but what I thought very proper, and very much to the purpose. What has been said, indeed, on the other side of the question, especially the long justification that has been made of our late measures, I cannot think so proper upon this occasion, because this motion is.founded upon the present melancholy situation of affairs, and upon the general clamour without doors against the late conduct of our public servants; and either of these with me, shall always be a sussicient reason for agreeing to a parliamentary enquiry; for without such an enquiry I cannot, even in my own mind, enter into the disquisition, whether our public measures have been right or not; because I cannot otherwise be surnished with the necessary lights for that purpose.
"But the Hon. Gentlemen who oppose this motion seem to mistake, I shall not say wilsully, the difference between a motion for an impeachment, and a motion for. an enquiry. If any member of this House were to stand up in his place, and move for impeaching a minister, he would be obliged to charge him withsomeparticular crimes pr misdemeanors, and produce some proof, or to declare shat he was ready to prove the facts: but any gentleman.
may may move for an enquiry, without any particular allegationi and without ofsering any proof, or declaring that he is ready to prove, because the very design of an en- > <juiry is to sind out particular sacts and particular proofs. 1742The general circumstances of things, or general rumours •without doors, are a sufficient foundation for such a motion, and for the House agreeing to it when it is made.
This, Sir, has always been the practice, and has been the foundation of almost all the enquiries that were ever set on foot in this House, especially those that have been carried on by secret and select committees. What other foundation was there for the secret committee appointed in the year 1694 (to go no surther back) to enquire into and inspect the books and accounts of the East India Company and Chamber of London ?—Nothing but a general rumour that some corrupt practice had been made use of. What was the foundation of the enquiry in the year 1714? Did the Hon. Gentleman who moved for appointing that secret committee charge the former administration with any particular crimes! Did he ofser any proofs, or declare that he was ready to prove any thing? It is said, the measures pursued by that administration were condemned by a great majority of that House of Commons. What, Sir, were those ministers condemned before they were heard? Could any gentleman be so unjust as to pass sentence, even in his own mind, upon a measure, before he had enquired into it. He might perhaps dislike the treaty of Utrecht, but upon enquiry it might appear to be the best that could be obtained; and it has since been so sar justisied, that it is at least as good, if not better, than any treaty we have made since that time.
"Sir, it was not the treaty of Utrecht, nor any measure that administration openly pursued, that was the foundation or the cause of an enquiry into their conduct. It was the loud complaints of a great party against them, and the "general suspicion of their having carried on treasonable negotiations in savour of the Pretender, and for deseating the Protestant succession; and the enquiry was set on foot, in order to detect those practices, if there were any such, and to sind proper evidence for convicting the offenders. The same argument holds with regard to the enquiry into the management of the South Sea Company in the year 1721. When that affair was