I will not attempt to deny the reasonableness and necessity of a party war; but in carrying on that war all principles and rules of justice should not be departed from.
The very idea of true patriotism is lost, and the term has been prostituted to the very worst of purposes. A patriot, sir! Why, patriots spring up like mushrooms!
Have I given any symptoms of an avaricious disposition? Have I obtained any grants from the crown since I have been placed at the head of the treasury? Has my conduct been different from that which others in the same station would have followed?
And here a most heinous charge is made, that the nation has been burdened with unnecessary expenses for the sole purpose of preventing the discharge of our debts and the abolition of taxes.
Some members of both Houses have, it is true, been removed from their employments under the Crown; but were they ever told, either by me or by any other of his majesty's servants, that it was for opposing the measures of the administration in Parliament?
Admitting, however, for the sake of argument, that I am prime and sole minister in this country, am I, therefore, prime and sole minister of all Europe? Am I answerable for the conduct of other countries as well as for that of my own?
But I have the satisfaction, at the same time, to reflect that the impression to be made depends upon the consistency of the charge and the motives of the prosecutors.
The public treasure has been duly applied to the uses to which it was appropriated by Parliament, and regular accounts have been annually laid before Parliament, of every article of expense.
If they are really persuaded that the army is annually established by me, that I have the sole disposal of posts and honours, that I employ this power in the destruction of liberty and the diminution of commerce, let me awaken them from their delusion.
Is it no imputation to be arraigned before this House, in which I have sat forty years, and to have my name transmitted to posterity with disgrace and infamy?
And therefore, for the sake of my mater, without any regard for my own, I hope all those that have a due regard for our constitution and for the rights and prerogatives of the crown, without which our constitution can not be preserved, will be against this motion.
I can not, therefore, see how this can be imputed as a crime, or how any of the king's ministers can be blamed for his doing what the public has no concern in; for if the public be well and faithfully served it has no business to ask by whom.
I happened to be one of those who thought all these expenses necessary, and I had the good fortune to have the majority of both houses of Parliament on my side.
Many words are not wanting to show that the particular view of each court occasioned the dangers which affected the public tranquillity; yet the whole is charged to my account. Nor is this sufficient.
But I must think that an address to his majesty to remove one of his servants, without so much as alleging any particular crime against him, is one of the greatest encroachments that was ever made upon the prerogatives of the crown.
IT has been observed by several gentlemen, in vindication of this motion, that if it should be carried, neither my life, liberty, nor estate will be affected.
Wherever they have been arraigned, a plain charge has been exhibited against them. They have had an impartial trial and have been permitted to make their defense.
It has from the beginning been carried on with as much vigor and as great care of our trade as was consistent with our safety at home and with the circumstances we were in at the beginning of the war.