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upon me; and I must for that pur. No II.-Alike warrant for the pose request, that you will do me
same sum to be paid to Mr. Long the honour to inform me, within and lord Charles Somerset, for what time it will be necessary, for army services.
avoiding those inconveniencies to No. III.-Lord Grenville, auditor fied in the warrants of their lord.
the public service which are speci. of the exchequer, on the subject chino'
ships, that such orders as are before of issuing money from the exche.
mentioned should be drawn and quer, for the service of the army
transmitted to their lordships ? and navy, under the warrants of
I have the honour to be, &c. the lords of the treasury.
(Signed) GRENVILLE. Camelford-house, Jan. 1, 1811, The right hon. Spencer Perceval, 53 min. p. 11 a. M.
&c. &c. &c. Sir, Mr. Fisher has this moment No. 1V.-Mr. Perceval to lord brought to me two warrants from Grenville, stating the period when the lords commissioners of his majes an issue should be made from the Ly'streasury, under yesterday's date, exchequer, in pursuance of the by which I am required, in conside treasury warrant. ration of the circumstances therein stated, to draw an order for the issue
Downing-street, 1st Jan. 1811, of 500,0001. to the bank, on account
before 3 P.M. of the paymaster-gen. of the forces, My lord-I have had the honour and also a like sum on account of receiving your lordship’s letter of of the treasurer of the navy; for this day's date, desiring to know which issues no authority under his within what time it will be necessamajesty's great seal, or privy seal, ry, for avoiding those inconvenienor sign manual, has as yet been precies to the public service which are sented, according to the accustomed specified in the warrants to which mode and course of the exchequer your lordship's letter relates, that in that behalf.
the order for issuing the money I have been, up to this moment, under such warrants should be totally unapprized of any intention transmitted to their lordships and on the part of their lordships 10 I have to state to your lordship, that transmit to me any such wirrants; according to the usual course of but had on the contrary every reason supplying the weekly issues, both to to believe, from what you had stated the navy and the army, it would be to Mr. Fisher, that the officers of the necessary that sums should be issued exchequer were to be called upon to to both services, beyond the amount act on this cccasion under the au. of the existing credits at the exche. thority of his majesty's privy seal, quer, either tomorrow or the next which, however irregularly it might day at furthest : but although such have been obtained, would have is the usual practice, which I should been, in my judgement, imperative regret the necessity of departing upon them.
from, yet if the orders could be so It now becomes necessary for me furnished as to acimit of an actual to consider the nature and extent of issue being made upon them by the duties which this new and unex- Monday next, I do not apprehend pected course of proceeding imposes any serious inconvenience to the pub
lic service from such a short de- No. VI.-Case for the opinion of
Sp. PERCEVAL. his majesty's attorney and solici. The lord Grenville.
tor general-1 January 1811.
The auditor of the exchequer is No. V. Lord Grenville, auditor of appointed by a constitution from
the excliequer, transmitting a case the lords commissioners of his on the subject of issuing money majesty's treasury; his office is gefrom the exchequer under treasu- nerally described by lord Coke, ry warrants, and requesting the Inst. 106. His appointmentstates his same might be submitted to the duty to be, that of writing all ard . attorney and solicitor general. every the tallies and counter tallies
Excbequer, Jan. 1, 1811. of all whatsoever the bills to be My lords, I have been informed made hereafter at the exchequer of by a letter of this date from the right our lord the king, on all and every honourable the chancellor of the ex- the payments and assignments to be chequer, that it is desirable the there made ; and of doing and exorders required by your lordships' ercising all other things to that warrants of yesterday's date should office belonging. be transmitted to your lordship He has no general instructions either to-morrow or next day at fur- accompanying his appointment. thest, and that serious inconvenience Special provisions relative to his is apprehended to the public service, office and duties are contained in the unless the actual issue can be made eighth and ninth W. III.c. 28. par. upon them by Monday next.
ticularly in sections 6. 8. and 10. to Under this pressure, I have which your attention is desired, as thought it my indispensable duty to well as to the general tenor of the lose no time in drawing up such a several statutes for the regulation statement of the case as my general of the exchequer, and also to the knowledge of the subject enables stat. 50 Geo. III. c. 115. f. 6. me to do on the sudden. If there Copies of the several forms of the should appear to your lordships any warrants under privy seal and sign deficiency or error in this statement, manual, and of the usual warrant I beg leave to request that your lord from the lords commissioners of the ships will have the goodness to di. treasury to the auditor, for drawing rect that the same should be sup- orders for the issue of money, acplied by your lordships' officers; and cording to the accustomed course of I cannot doubt, that your lordships the exchequer, are transmitted herewill then, in compliance with this with. And Mr. Fisher, the audimy humble request, direct that the tor's chief clerk, an officer of long case should be immediately submit. experience in the exchequer, will atted, by your lordships' orders, to the tend you, for the purpose of supplyattorney and solicitor general, in ing any explanation of these ir stru. order that I may have the sanction ments, or any other information of their legal advice and authority which you may require. in a matter of such novel and un- A copy is herewith inclosed of precedented difficulty.
two warrants from the lords com. I have the honour to be, &c. missioners of the treasury, dated
(Signed) GRENVILLE, auditor. December 31, 1810; and requiring The lords commissioners of his the auditor, under thecircumstances majesty's treasury.
therein described, to draw orders
for the issue of one million of the the opinion of the attorney and king's treasure, for the issue of which solicitor-general on the case subno authority under his majesty's mitted by him; and stating the great seal, privy seal, or sign manu. urgent necessity of his complying al, has been presented, according to with the treasury warrant of the the accustomed course of the exche 31st December, 1810. quer in that behalf.
My lord, I am commanded by Your opinion is requested, by the the lords commissioners of his ma. auditor, whether the aforesaid war. jesty's treasury to acknowledge the rant of the lords commissioners of receipt of your lordship's letter of the treasury is a sufficient authority yesterday, requesting that the case, imperative on him, and therefore a therein transmitted, should be imlegal sanction for his proceeding to mediately submitted to the attorney obey the same; or whether any and and solicitor general, in order that what discretion is left to him on this you may have the sanction of their occasion, for the exercise of which legal advice and authority in a mathe may be responsible in any court ter of such novel and unprecedented of law, or to the two houses of pare difficulty; and to acquaint your liament: they having resolved that lordship, that they lost no time in it is their right and duty to provide complying with your request. And the means of supplying the defect of I am now commanded to transmit the personal exercise of the royal au- to you a copy of the opinion which thority arising from his majesty's they have just received from the indisposition, in such manner as the attorney and solicitor general, statexigency of the case may appear to ing, that they do not think that the them to require.
warrant of the lords commissioners Having considered the several sta. of his majesty's treasury is, in law,
tutes and documents to which we a sufficient authority imperative are referred, and the general upon the auditor, nor consequently practice which we understand to it legal sanction for his proceeding have prevailed in the exchequer, to obey the same. as well before as since appropria. My lords direct me to add, that tión acts similar to the 50th Geo. their sense of the mischief to the III. c. 115, have been annually public service, which would arise if passed, we do not think that the any delay should take place in the warrant of the lords commission issues of the moneys required by ers of the treasury is in law a suffi. their warrants of the 31st Decemcient authority. imperative woon ber, appears to render it indispensathe auditor, nor consequently a bly necessary that those warrants legal sanction for his proceeding
should be forthwith complied with; to obey the same, nor that any
and that they are consequently readiscretion is left to him by the law dy to take upon themselves the reon this occasion, for the exercise sponsibility of any act which may be of which he will not be responsi, essesntial for that purpose. ble.
I am, &c. (Signed) V. GIBBS, T. Plumer, Jan, 2, 1811. Geo. HARRISON, Lincoln's Inn, 2d Jan. 1811.
No. VIII.-Lord Grenville, stating No. VII.-Mr. Harrison to lord bis reasons for not complying Grenville, transmitting copy of with the directions of the treasury
warrant for issuing money from servation of the course anciently the exchequer.
used in the receipt of exchequer, Erchequer, Jan. 3, 1811, prohibits the issue of the king's trea55 niin. M. P.
sure, except in pursuance of the speMy lords -- I had the honour to cial provisions of an act of parliareceive, yesterday evening, a letter men!, or under the authority of warfrom Mr. Harrison, transmitting to rants under his majesty's great seal me the opinion of his majesty's at- or privy seal, duly entered in the torney and solicitor-general, on the office of the auditor, who is therestatement which I took the liberty upon to draw the necessary orders. of submitting to your lordships for In the present instance all these authe purpose of being laid before thorities are wanting; and it is prothem; and I beg leave to express posed that 1,000,0001, sterling of the due sense which I entertain of his majesty's treasure shall be issuyour lordships' ready compliance ed on the sole ground of a warrant with my request.
signed by your lordships. Every Having fully considered that opi. step taken towards such an issue by nion, I lose no time in humbly ap- any oificer of the exchequer, but prizing your lordships of the final more especially by the auditor, judgement which I have formed as would be in open violation both of to the line of my official duty on this that statute and of the accustomed occasion.
course of the exchequer; for such It is matter of the deepest concern an act your lordships' warrants canto me, to be made the involuntary not, as I now learn from the highest cause of any even the shortest delay authority, afford me any legal sancin an issue of his majesty's treasure, tion. I must, I am told, act on my stated to me, from such high autho. own discretion, for the exercise of rity as that of your lordships, to be which I must alone be responsible. important to the public service. If This responsibility, if it legally atI could be satisfied of the propriety taches upon me, I certainly cannot of my doing what is required from transfer to any other persons, and me by the warrants which I have least of all to your lordships, whathad the honour to receive from your ever willingness you have expressed lordships, there is no personal re- to take it on yourselves. My atsponsibility which I would not rea- tempting to do so would itself be dily incur for the public interests; criminal; tending to confound the but I cannot persuade myself that official relations in which I have the I could obey those warrants with honour to stand towards your lordout a breach of my official duty in ships, and to annul those checks that point which is above all others which the law has established to en peculiarly obligatory on the per. sure the faithful discharge of our son placed in the situation of audio respective duties, and thereby the tor of the exchequer; nor without security of the public treasure a high and criminal violation both But I beg leave humbly to subof a positive statute, and also of the mit to your lordships, that the law essential principles of our monarchi- has in truth invested me with no cal and parliamentary constitution discretion on this question.
The act passed in the 8th and 9th The exigencies of the public ser. of king William the third, cap. 28. vice, which your lordships have conentitled, “ An act for the better ob- descended to detail to me in these your warrants, are matters of state, supplying the defect of the persoof which, as auditor of the exche- nal exercise of the royal authority quer, I have no knowledge, and can arising from his majesty's said intake no cognizance; my official disposition, in such manner 'as the duty is strictly limited to an obser- exigency of the case may appear vance of the accustomed forms of to them to require." the exchequer, and of the laws which To this resolution all the subjects have from time to time been passed of this realm owe submission and for its regulation
obedience; and while it presents on To these I am bound to adhere; the one hand, in my judgement, a and it is on the fullest consideration fresh and insuperable obstacle to which this pressure of time has per- my obeying your lordships' requisimitted me to give to them, tha. I tion, it does, I trust, afford, on the am compelled to decline, but with other hand, the means of obviating all due respect to your lordships, a any inconvenience that could arise compliance with the requisition con. from my adherence to this my pub. tained in those warrants to which lic duiy. I should think myself this letter refers.
doubly criniinal, if, while the two Perhaps, however, on an occasion houses are actually proceeding in of such high and urgent public in the execution of such their right and terest, it may not be improper for duty, I were to take upon myself to me, before I close this letter, further decide, for them, in what manner to submit to your lordships my view the defect in the personal exercise of of the mode in which all difficulties the king's authority shall be supon this subject may be removed, in plied, in so important a branch as so far at least as any agency of mine that of the issue of his royal treamay be required for the purpose of sure ; much more, if I were to arrothose issues mode which I am gate to myself the power of dispen. happy to think may still be resorted sing, for that purpose, with the exto, even within the period which the press provisions of the laws by right honourable the chancellor of which my official duties are regulas the exchequer did me the honour to ted. point cut to me, as that within But if your lordships shall think which no serious inconvenience is to it proper to submit this difficulty to be apprehended tothe public service. The consideration of the two houses
Your lordships have recited in of parliament, they have declared, your warrants, the resolution by that with them rests the right and which the two houses of parliament duty to provide the means of remov. have declared the melancholy facting it. With them resides, under of the temporary incapacity of his the present exigency, the power to majesty for the discharge of his high command those official seals, the functions. If it be proper for me, use of which would constitute an in my official character, in any man. imperative and unquestionable auper whatever to act on this declara- thority to the offices of the exchetion, I cannot separate my know- quer; with them rests the discre. ledge of it from that of the accom- tion of judgement in what other panying resolution by which the manner they may think it more fit lords and commons did at the same to provide a sufficient warrant or time declare, that it was their right sanction for anyissue which they may and duty to provide the means of determine to be requisite for the