Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

IX. That he introduced an arbitrary government in his majesty's foreign plantations; and hath caused such as complained thereof, before his majesty and council, to be long imprisoned for so doing.

X. That he did reject and frustrate a proposal and undertaking, approved by his majesty, for the preservation of Nevis and St. Christopher's, and reducing the French plantations to his majesty's obedience, after the commissions were drawn for that purpose; which was the occasion of such great losses and damages in those parts.

XI. That he advised and effected the sale of Dunkirk to the French king, being part of his majesty's dominions, together with the ammunition, artillery, and all sorts of stores there, and for no greater value than the said ammunition, artillery, and stores were worth.

XII. That the said earl did unduly cause his majesty's letters patent under the Great Seal of England (to one Dr. Crowther) to be altered, and the inrollment thereof to be unduly razed.

XIII. That he hath, in an arbitrary way, examined and drawn into question divers of his majesty's subjects concerning their lands, tenements, goods and chattels, and properties; determined thereof at the counciltable, and stopped proceedings at law; and threatened some that pleaded the Statute of 17 Car. 1.

XIV. That he had caused Quo Warrantos to be issued out against most of the corporations of England by act of parliament, to the intent he might receive great sums of money from them for renewing their charters; which when they complied withal, he caused the said Quo Warrantos to be discharged, and prosecution thereon to cease.

XV. That he procured the bills of settlement for Ireland, and received great sums of money for the same in a most corrupt and unlawful manner.

XVI. That he hath deluded his majesty and the nation, in all foreign treaties and negotiations relating to the late war.

XVII. That he was a principal author of that fatal counsel of dividing the fleet, about June 1666.

(S.T. vi. 397.)

B.

ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT OF HIGH TREASON, AND OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANOURS, AND OFFENCES, AGAINST THOMAS EARL OF DANBY, LORD HIGH TREASURER OF ENGLAND.

I. That he hath traitorously encroached to himself Regal Power, by treating of Matters of Peace and War with Foreign Princes and Ambassadors, and giving Instructions to his Majesty's Ambassadors abroad, without communicating the same to the Secretaries of State, and the rest of his Majesty's Council; and against the express Declaration of his Majesty and his Parliament; thereby intending to defeat and overthrow the Provisions which had been deliberately made by his Majesty and his Parliament for the Safety and Preservation of his Majesty's Kingdoms and Dominions.

II. That he hath traitorously endeavoured to subvert the ancient and well established Form of Government in this Kingdom; and instead thereof to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical Way of Government. And the better to effect this his Purpose, he did design the raising of an Army, upon Pretence of a War against the French King; and then to continue the same as a Standing Army within this Kingdom: And an Army being so raised, and no War ensuing, an Act of Parliament having passed to pay off and disband the same, and a great Sum of Money being granted for that End, he did continue this Army contrary to the said Act, and misemployed the said Money, given for disbanding, to the continuance thereof; and issued out of his Majesty's Revenue divers great Sums of Money for the said Purpose; and wilfully neglected to take Security from the Paymaster of the Army, as the said Act required; whereby the said Law is eluded, and the Army is yet continued to the great Danger and unnecessary Charge of his Majesty and the whole Kingdom.

III. That he, traitorously intending and designing to alienate the Hearts and Affections of his Majesty's good Subjects from his Royal Person and Government, and to hinder the Meeting of Parliaments, and to deprive his Sacred Majesty of their safe and wholesome Councils, and thereby to alter the Constitution of the Government of this Kingdom, did propose and negotiate a Peace for the French King, upon Terms disadvantageous to the Interests of his Majesty and his Kingdoms: For the Doing whereof he did endeavour to procure a great Sum of Money from the French King, for Enabling of him to carry on and maintain his said traitorous Designs and Purposes, to the Hazard of his Majesty's Person and Government.

IV. That he is popishly affected; and hath traitorously concealed, after he had Notice, the late horrid and bloody Plot and Conspiracy contrived by the Papists, against his Majesty's Person and Government, and hath suppressed the Evidence, and reproachfully discountenanced the King's Witnesses in the Discovery of it, in Favour of Popery; immediately tending to the Destruction of the King's Sacred Person, and the Subversion of the Protestant Religion.

V. That he hath wasted the King's Treasure, by issuing out of his Majesty's Exchequer, and several Branches of his Revenue, for unnecessary Pensions and secret Services, to the Value of Two hundred Thirty-one thousand Six hundred and Two Pounds, within Two Years: And that he hath wholly diverted, out of the known Method and Government of the Exchequer, One whole Branch of his Majesty's Revenue to private Uses, without any Account to be made of it to his Majesty in the Exchequer, contrary to the Express Act of Parliament which granted the same: And he hath removed Two of his Majesty's Commissioners of that Part of the Revenue, for refusing to consent to such his unwarrantable Actings therein, and to advance Money upon that Branch of the Revenue, for private Uses.

VI. That he hath by indirect Means procured from his Majesty for himself, divers considerable Gifts and Grants of Inheritance of the ancient Revenue of the Crown, even contrary to Acts of Parliament.

(C.J. ix. 561.)

RESOLUTION OF THE COMMONS, MAY 5, 1679.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That it is the opinion of this House, That the Pardon pleaded by the Earl of Danby is illegal and void; and ought not to be allowed in Bar of the Impeachment of the Commons of England.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That the whole House will go up to the Lords Bar, and demand their Judgment against the Earl of Danby; for that the Pardon by him pleaded is illegal and invalid; and ought not to bar or preclude the Commons from having Justice upon their Impeach

ment. . . .

(The form of words drawn up by the Committee and adopted by the House.)

My Lords,

The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, are come up to demand Judgment in their own Names, and the Names of all the Commons of England, against Thomas, Earl of Danby, who stands impeached by them before Your Lordships of High Treason, and divers High Crimes and Misdemeanors, to which he has pleaded a Pardon: which Pardon the Commons conceive to be illegal and void; and therefore they do demand Judgment of Your Lordships accordingly. [See p. 91.]

(C.J. ix. 612.)

C.

RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMMONS IN THE CASE OF FITZHARRIS, 1681.

The House being informed, That the Lords had refused to proceed upon the Impeachment of the Commons against Edward Fitzharris; and had directed That he should be proceeded against at the Common Law;

And a Debate arising in the House thereupon:

Resolved, That it is the Undoubted Right of the Commons in Parliament assembled, to impeach, before the Lords in Parliament, any Peer or Commoner for Treason, or any other Crime or Misdemeanor; And that the Refusal of the Lords to proceed in Parliament upon such Impeachment is a Denial of Justice, and a Violation of the Constitution of Parliaments.

Resolved, That in the Case of Edward Fitzharris, who, by the Commons, had been impeached for High Treason before the Lords, with a Declaration, that in convenient time they would bring up the Articles against him; for the Lords to resolve, That the said Edward Fitzharris should be proceeded with according to the Course of Common Law, and not by way of Impeachment in Parliament, at this time; is a Denial of Justice, and a Violation of the Constitution of Parliaments, and an Obstruction to the further Discovery of the Popish Plot, and of great Danger to his Majesty's Person, and the Protestant Religion.

Resolved, That for any inferior Court to proceed against Edward Fitzharris, or any other person, lying under an Impeachment in Parliament for the same Crimes for which he or they stand impeached, is a high Breach of the Privilege of Parliament.

(C.J., March 26, 1681.)

(NOTE.--Edward Fitzharris, a Commoner, had been impeached by the Commons; but the Lords had voted he should be proceeded against at Common Law. On the importance of the Constitutional question involved see Hallam, C.H. ii. 447; Hatsell, Precedents, iv. 54; S.T. viii. 236; and for precedents, Stubbs, C.H. ii. 593, iii. 273; Pike, H.L. 209-234.)

II. TAXATION AND SUPPLY

1.

THE LORDS RESOLUTION.

The Question was put, "Whether it shall be ordered and declared, That the annexing any Clause or Clauses to a Bill of Aid or Supply, the Matter of which is foreign to, and different from, the Matter of the said Bill of Aid or Supply, is Unparliamentary, and tends to the Destruction of the Constitution of this Government?"

It was resolved in the Affirmative.

It is Ordered and Declared, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the annexing any Clause or Clauses to a Bill of Aid or Supply, the Matter of which is foreign to, and different from, the Matter of the said Bill of Aid or Supply, is Unparliamentary, and tends to the Destruction of the Government.

It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That this Order and Declaration be added to the Roll of Standing Orders.

(L.J. xvii. 135.)

2.

A. RESOLUTION OF THE COMMONS OF 1661.

And the House observing, that the said Bill (a Passing Bill) was to alter the course of Law in Part, and to lay a Charge upon the People; and conceiving that it is a privilege inherent to this House, that Bills of that Nature ought to be first considered here;

Ordered, That the said Bill be laid aside; And that the Lords be acquainted therewith, and with the reasons inducing this House thereunto; and the Lords are to be desired, for that Cause, not to suffer any Mention of the said Bill to remain in the Journals of their House. . .

(C.J. viii. 311.)

B. THE RESOLUTION OF THE COMMONS, 1671.

The House then proceeded to the Reading the Amendments and Clauses, sent from the Lords to the Bill for an Imposition upon foreign Commodities: Which were once read:

And the first Amendments, sent from the Lords, being for changing the proportion of the Impositions on white Sugars from One Penny per Pound, to Halfpenny half Farthing, was read the second Time; and debated.

Resolved, etc. Nemine contradicente, That, in all Aids given to the King, by the Commons, the Rate or Tax ought not to be altered by the Lords.

(C.J. ix. 235.)

C. RESOLUTION OF THE COMMONS, 1678.

Mr. Solicitor General reports from the Committee to whom it was, amongst other things referred, to prepare and draw up a State of Rights of the Commons, in Granting of Money, a Vote agreed by the Committee : Which he read at his Place, and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table Where the same was read; and, upon the Question, agreed; and is as followeth ; viz.

Resolved, etc. That all Aids and Supplies, and Aids to his Majesty in Parliament, are the sole Gift of the Commons: And that it is the undoubted and sole right of the Commons, to direct, limit, and appoint, in such Bills, the Ends, Purposes, Considerations, Conditions, Limitations, and Qualifications of such Grants; which ought not to be changed, or altered by the House of Lords.

(C.J. ix. 509.)

D. RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMMONS OF 1860.

(1) That the right of granting Aids and Supplies to the Crown is in the Commons alone, as an essential part of their Constitution; and the limitation of all such Grants, as to matter, manner, measure, and time, is only in them.

(2) That, although the Lords have exercised the power of rejecting Bills of several descriptions relating to Taxation by negativing the whole, yet the exercise of that power by them has not been frequent, and is justly regarded by this House with peculiar jealousy, as affecting the right of the Commons to grant the Supplies and to provide the Ways and Means for the Services of the year.

(3) That, to guard for the future against an undue exercise of that power by the Lords, and to secure to the Commons their rightful control over Taxation and Supply, this House has in its own hands the power so to impose and remit Taxes, and to frame Bills of Supply, that the right of the Commons as to the matter, manner, measure and time may be maintained inviolate.

(Hansard, P.D., Third Series, clix. 1384-1606.)

« AnteriorContinuar »