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it was stated, that a draft for 7000/. payable to the right hon. Thomas Steele (at that time one of the joint paymasters), or bearer, had been drawn by the cashier on (he llth of May, 1799, under the head of extraordinarily of the army, and en. tered in the cash account of the office, with Mr. Steele's receipt as a Toucher j and that another sum of 12,000/. was drawn for, precisely in the same manner, and a receipt given in the same terms, on the 3d of July, 1800. Of these two sums, the first was not repaid until the 3d of February, 1807; nor the latter until the 8th of April; with inte. rest upon both sums, from the date of their issue to that of their repay, ment, amounting to 7390/. 13*.
"The correspondence between Mr. Steele and Mr. Thomas; letters of earl Temple (one of the joint paymasters in 1807.), addres. sed to lord Grenville, Mr. Steele, Mr. Rose, and lord Harowby; three minutes of the lords of the treasury, directing what steps should be ta. ken for securing the sum remaining due (for the first sum had been repaid previously to any proceedings of the board of treasury): minutes of the paymaster-general entered in the book of the office; and several other papers, are inserted at length in the appendix, though not perhaps absolutely necessary for understanding the subject, that no circumstance which has reference to this business, may be withheld from observation. But the part to which the committee think it most material to direct the attention of the house, is the account given by Mr. Steele himself, when be desired to attend the former committee on the twenty.sixth of March, 1807, and made . his own statement of the circum
stances relating to these tranur. tions. He said, " the two sums mentioned by Mr. Thomas were is. sned by my direction, and I have no hesitation in stating that they were not issued for the public service. I thought, as others did at the time, that I had full authority to direct those issues.—I was urged to do so by private considerations of a very peculiar nature, which opera, ted at that time upon my mind; and I thought that, by directing them to be issued to myself, and making myself responsible for them, I could not by possibility incur the suspicion of concealment or fraud. It was my intention that they should have been replaced in a very short time, but it was not in my power to accomplish it; they remained charged against me in the pay. office book till the"beginning of the present year, when the former of the two sums was repaid; and (be whole subject having been brought lately under the consideration of the board of treasury, they have directed me to repay the remaining sum with the interest due upon both sums, by instalments, at staled periods, which I have engaged to do. I cannot take upon myself (o defend my conduct in this instance, which I must admit to have been incorrect, but I console myself with thinking that (he public will have suffered no loss." And, be. ing asked, whether he knew of any other transaction of the same kind, during the time he was in the pay. office? he said, " I do not.'' And being asked, whether he knew of any arrcar of (he like nature ari. sing from the transaction of any former paymaster? he said, *' I certainly do not." And being asked, whether any notice was taken of this transaction by the treasury previous to the beginning of this year? he said, " I apprehend it wis not eTen known to the treasury, previous to this year." And bsing asked, whether any notice was taken by any other public office? he said, " Wot to my knowledge." facts themselves; but 1 cannot help observing that many of these facts will appear in a very different point of view to that, in which they are given to the public by Mr. John Bellenden Gawler: he w^ll «xcuse me for using the name by which he is best known to the public.
The report then proceeds to state, that Mr. Rose, being examined, said, that the facts respecting Mr. Steele were not communicated to him until the 10th of February, 1806', at which time he considered himself completely out of office, and could not interfere officially, but he desi. red Mr. Thomas to write to Mr. Steele: he also had a conversation with that gentleman, and wrote a letter to him upon the subject, the answer to which led him to rest sa. tisSed, that the whole matter would be communicated without delay to lord Grenville, or the paymaster, jeneral. The report then notices two sums of 110,000/. paid to Boyd and co. for serf ices, which failed; the former of which was repaid, and the second was not, but is still in a course of legal proceeding, in con. •equence of the bankruptcy of that souse. The report concludes with •ingesting regulations to prevent similar abuses.
"Upon the important subject •f recommending measures which say prevent similar abuses in fu. tore, your committee observe great concern, that the most obvious, and perhaps the only effectual remedy, nas been found by experience hi. therto unattainable; but they think it necessary to represent as their deliberate opinion, that without an "*tlier examination! and auditing of
accounts, irregularities can hardly be prevented; and that temptation will never be wanting to make use of public money, while there exists a great probability of its being for a long time uncalled for. After the accounts come before the commis. sioners for auditing, no attention is wanting in requiring proper warrants in discharge for every pay. ment, and no sum is allowed with, out a voucher of that kind; but se slow has been the progress hitherto, that notwithstanding the observations made on the subject by the committee of finance in 1797 and 1798, not one account of any pay. master-general has been finally set. tied and decared, nor made ready for declaration, in the nine or ten years which have since elapsed."
Mr. Paull and Sir Francis Burdett"• recent Duel.—Mr. Cooper's state* ment.
A publication which appeared in the morning papers of Saturday last, signed "John Bellendea Ker,"* renders it impossible for me to remain any longer silent un. der representations and aspersions the most artful and unfounded that ever made their way to the public. If I have remained hitherto silent under such aspersions and misre. presentations from the pen of John Home Toeke, and others, it has really been from contempt for the calumniators, and not for any ap. prehensions of the result of a full derelopement of the circumstances of the recent duel, either as affecting Mr. Paull, or myself. I shall be brief as possible it stating the
My object was not concealment, but I understood distinctly from Mr. Paull, that both he and sir Francis Hurdett had decided against the utility of any statement beyond a mere mention of the meeting ; and even that, if judged necessary, to be without the names of the se« conds. To this moment I cannot imagine one substantial reason for any other line of conduct; and I leave it to the public to judge, if there is one new fact brought to light, (though a most reprehensible attempt has been made on the part of Mr. Gawler, to turn my conduct and character into ridicule, on a most serious occasion,) except, in. deed, that he has proved, what I never denied, my ignorance— " in the loading of a pistol, the measuring of a distance, and the dropping of a signal." lie, on the contrary, is an adept in the science of duelling; that he has long traded in af. fairs of this kind, that he seems equally indifferent to his appearing in the field, or in the forum, where he certainly has been no inconsiderable actor in his day. Unfortunately for Mr. Paull and myself, Mr. Gawler was the second to sir Francis Burdett, on the intended affair with Mr. Whilbread. For the sins of my principal, and Biyself, an opinion was given by Mr. Paull 10 Mr. Gawler on that occasion, which did not seem to
have escaped the recollection of Mr. Gawler on the recent duel.
The public hns been already in. formed of the meeting at the Crown and Anchor on the l*t of May, and the letters that were then rea4 by Mr. Jones Burdett at that dinner. I attended as a friend of Mr. Paull, to whom 1 hid been introduced by a near relation iu the India service.—Alter quilting tho Crown and An. hor, he requested me to attend bun as his seeond upon a most unforeseen, unexpected, and unfortunate affair, in which he found himself engaged with his friend sir Francis Burdett. Mr. Paull said he was loth to impose this duty on me on account of my family circumstances; but that the hour was late ; and from what I had seen, not a moment was to bo lost, if he (Mr. Paull) meant to stand well with his friends or th» public. He immediately wrote tTro addresses to the electors of Westminster, which having dis. patched, he then wrote a letter to sir Francis Burdett, and gave m« instructions, from which I was upon no account to depart. These instructio::s were, " to explain coolly and deliberately to sir Francis Bar. riett tho injury he (Mr. Paull) had sustained, both in a public and private point of view; that afier tht explanations that had passed between him and sir Francis in th« early part of the week, and especially on Thursday, sir Francis was left without an excuse for hii conduct; and (hat, at all tvents< the manner, the tir.-.e, and terms made use of to strike the blorf, without anv previous hint having been given of the mode of attack, was t><> unfading aud unkind, that an apology he had a rijht to insist upon, and (hat, if refused, one other alternative only remained.
As we proceeded to Wimbledon, Mr. Paull represented to me the\ painful necessity of this measure; but he had no alternative, as the insult was gross, wanton, and unprovoked: He stated (o me it was long the wish of his heart to see sir Francis Burdett in parliament, but that unhappily his wishes were counteracted by an iuiluence superior to his o^n. That on Sunday last, he (Mr. Paull) repaired to Wimbledon on hearing that a ili«lolution was intended ; that he had a long conversation with sir Francis, the result of which was, that though sir Fraucii would not publicly offer himself as a candidate for Westminster, and though ("contrary to Mr. Cobbett's opinion) he doipaired of the country, he should be well pleased to find that so much public spirit existed in the city of Westminster, as to return both Mr. Paull and him to parliament. Mr. Paull said, he concluded the conversation by requesting sir Francis to nominate him, as he had done list October,(wkich was at a dinner it the Crown and Anchor,) to which fir Francis most readily consented; Mr. Paull stayed dinner, and was lorry to perceive that Mr. Tooke's opinion was decidedly again.-t sir Francis Burdett goin.< into parliament ; to which opinion he (Mr. Paul!) attributed the conduct of sir F. Burdett, as exhibited by the letters from him, which were read by his brother at the Crown and Anchor meeting. Connected as Mr. Paull had been for a !>r.g period with sir Francis Burdett, and the assent gjven by sir Francis BunJetf on the Sunday, to noroiaite Mr. Paull as "he had done last
October, (which was-at a dinner at the Crown and Anchor,) a dinner was fixed on, and sir F. named as the"chairman in a public advertise-ment, and of which sir F. was advised on the same evening by Mr. Paull, who received in answer that extraordinary private letter, whi h was read by Mr. Jones Burdett, at the Crown and Anchor; upon the receipt of which Mr. Paull dispatched, by express, an answer to sir F. at Wimbledon, in which he expressed his sincere concern that any mistake or misconception should have taken place, and the grounds upon which he (Mr. Paull) was induced to conclude sir F. would have taken the chair. He apologized, hs said, in a manner rather humiliating, for the liberty he had taken under the influence of misconception, aud offered to do away the effect of the advertisement in any manner that sir F. would prefer; that in another letter on the following day, sent by express, Mr. Paull reiterated these expressions of regret, and offered the same means of remedy, ing the advertisement; but no farther objection was stated, no do. sire expressed for withdrawing th« advertisement, no remedy pointed out; all which he attributed to th« subsequent consent given by sic Francis to serve if he was elected to represent the city. That on Thursday, Mr. Paull, on entering tht drawing-room of col. Kosvillc, was accosted by sir Francis in the mo.t cordial and friendly manner; tbat Mr. Paull took sir F. into an adjoining room, when he shewed hint an advertisement in a newspaper called the P;7yr, in which Mr. PaoU ■wa« announced as the chairman to -put certain resolutions, which* personally regarded sir F. Burdett. No observation was made by sir F. tending to disapprove of the nature of that advertisement; they then retired with the rest of the company from the drawing-room to dinner, and as soon as the cloth was removed, Mr. Paull gave to sir F. across the table, the resolutions that were to be moved on the ensuing day at the Crown and Anchor, which he very deliberate. ly read, and in returning them to Mr. Paull he said, he highly appro, ■ved of them, that they were excellent.—After quitting the house of colonel Bosvillc, sir F. Burdett, Mr. Jones Burdett, and Mr. Paull, walked towards home together, and parted at Blake's Hotel, in Jermyn-strcct; and the result of the conversation during the walk was, that sir Francis should discontinue his address to the electors of Middlesex, until the result of the meeting at the Crown and Anchor, the next day, should be known. Nothing occurred from that time till the moment of entering the dining-room at the Crown and Anchor, when Mr. Jones Burdett made his appearance; that Mr.' Paull, little imagining what brought him there, immediately led him to the top of the table, and placed him on his right hand.—That during dinner, he (Mr. P.) had repeatedly and momentarily solicited Mr. Jones Burdett to explain the nature of the communication, which he had declared his intention to make to the company assembled; that he (Mr. P.) persevered in these efforts of obtaining that know, ledge, mentioned the notes that had passed between him and sir. F. and alluded strongly to the friendly terms on which they parted the evening before; the conversation clo.
sed, Mr. Paull said, with Mr. Bar. dett's stating, " that he had an imperative commission from his bro. thcr to execute; that he was determined to execute it in the very manner prescribed, whatever might bo the consequences. He admitted it to be a most disagreeable duty to perform, and that he would do it for no other man on earth but sir F. Burdett." About one o'clock, wc arrived at Wimbledon, and 1 delivered the letter to -sir Francis, and explained to him Mr. Paull'i expectations. Sir Francis obser. ved, it was a most unfortunate busi. ness ; "had the interval of time ad. raitted of it, I would myself have seen Mr. Paull, and probably this unfor. tunatebusiness would hare been prevented ;" to this I replied, "SirFraucis, did not Mr. Paull put into yoor hands, last Thursday, at the house of colonel Bosville, the pilot newspaper, containing the advertisement alluded to, and were yoa not then silent on its alledgcd impropriety?" His answer was," I am, Mr. Cooper, one of the most careless men in the world ; and ai it was at the moment of going down to dinner Mr. Paull put that paper into my hand, I certainly did not pay attention to the advertisement." He declined any apology, but proceeded to write a note to Mr. Paull, which note, when copied, I deliver, ed to Mr. Paull. His direction to me then was, to tell sir Francis, "This is adding insult to injury; I shall proceed to Kingston, and do you fix as early an hour for the meeting as possible." On my return to the house, 1 delivered Mr. Paull's message; upon which sir Francis solicited I would be second to both; which upon my declining, he (sir F.) said, he must thea write