« PreviousContinue »
off any consideration of such points, unless in the case of gross and wilful prevarication, till the investigation should be concluded. The day of reckoning would come, when the House ought to take up the consideration of the various acts of corruption, imposition, and swindling, which had come out in the course of this inquiry.
Sir Thomas Turton argued, that as the winess had come to the bar to contradict or correct his former testi. mony, he could not be said to have prevaricated.
The Secretary at War thought, that as General Clavering bad on a former night given evidence in which he found he had been mistaken, he had no other course but to come down and explain the mistake. However contradictory this statement had been to the former, there was no prevarication in wbat he slated to-night, as he had concealed nothing, but told of his offer to Mrs. Clarke of 10001. for her influence to get him a regiment.
Mr. Wilberforce said, that if he were absolutely called upon to pronounce an opinion, it must be in favour of the motion, as the contradiction was so very strong. If Ge. neral Clavering had, upon reading his evidence, and finding that it conveyed a false impression, come down without delay, and explained it the next day, it would have bad a very different aspect; but he had waited eight or nine days before be thought proper to make this explanation. Under all the circumstances, however, he con. sidered that the best course would be to adjourn the discussion on the proposed resolution.
Mr. Wynne said, that he had felt the case so strong, that he did not apprebend any doubt; but as there was a doubt, he should very readily agree to postpone the discussion.
The Chancellor of the Erchequer said, that in case of prevarication, he thought the House should proceed immediately to the punishment of the witness. In case, however, of a witness contradicting a statement he had before made, he thought it would be much the best way to go through the whole of the case, and afterwards consider what course should be taken wish the witnesses who had contradicted themselves. He thought, therefore, the honourable gentleman would do best to withdraw his motion for the present, and bear the matter in his mind till that time should arrive.
Mr. Iynne, on this suggestion, consented to withdraw bis motion.
CHARLES GREENWOOD, Esq. was called in, and examined by
the Committee, as follows: Is there any part of your evidence, respecting the appointment of Mr. Elderton, which you now wish to correct :-Yes.
State what that part of your evidence is.-I there mentioned some unfavourable reports which I had heard of him, as having heard of them before the appointment took place; it now appears, upon referring to the transactions of that period, that those reports were not received till after the appointment had taken place.
Is there any other part of your evidence on that subject which you wish to correct?-No.
[The witness was directed to withdraw. Colonel GORDON was called in, and examined by the Committee,
as follows: Do you recollect the date of Colonel Clinton's leaving the office of public secretary to his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, and of your succeeding to him?-It was on the 26th of July 1804.
On the 26th of July, had the name of Captain Tonyn been sent in to his Majesty for promotion to a majority ? -No, it had not.
Then, if any person could state at that time that Captain Tonyn would appear in the Gazette of the following Saturday, that person must have been either entirely iguorant of the course of office, or inust have intended to deceive the person to whom such information was given ?-I should suppose sn.
In point of fact, would it have been possible in the course of office, between the Thursday and the Saturday, to have received his Majesty's pleasure respecting that promotion - It would certainly have been possible to have received his majesty's pleasure on the Thursday or the Friday, supposing the thing to have been so settled.
In the usual course of office could that have taken place ?-Suppose ing the thing to have been settled, it might certainly have been so.
On what day was Captain Tonyn's name sent in to the King for promotion ?-I have not got the documents with me, but I think, upon recollection, it was the 9th of August.
Then he did not appear in the Gazette either of Saturday the 28th, or of the Saturday following :-No, I think not, but I have not got the documents at hand.
[The following entry was read froin the Gazette of the 18th Angust 1804, page 999 :
3ist Regiment of foot, Captain Alexander Leith, to be Major.–Captain George Augustus Tonyn, from
the 48tli foot, to be Major. You will observe that Major Leith's commission is dated the 1st of August, and Captain Tonyu's the 2d; can you state the reason of Major Leith's being dated the day preceding? They were both promoted at the same tiine, and Major Leith had been the eldest Captain.
You have stated, that the King's approbation to Major Tonyn's promotion was obtained on the 9th of August, he appears in the Gazette of the 18th; in case the Coinmander in Chief had thought it sight on the 16th of Augnst to stop the publication of Major Tonya's promotion in the Gazette of Saturday the 18th, he could have done it? Yes, he might.
Is there any instance, in point of fact, of the Commander in Chief directing the publication of promotions in the Gazette to be stopped, after they have received the approbation of his Majesty Yes, very frequently casualties happen between the periods of gazetting, and the periods of submitting them to the King; consequently such appointments are not gazetted.
Then if the Commander in Chief had sent an order on the 16th, to you or the proper department, to stop the publication of Major Tonyn's promotion, it would not have appeared in the Gazette of the 18th? If the Commander in Chief had sent such an order, it probably would have been suspended.
In point of fact, do you know whether any such order was sent ! ! think it was impossible, I should have had some recollection of it, and I cannot ħod any trace of such a thing.
And it was not suspended? It was not, it was gazetted among other promotions.
Do you know where the Commander in Chief was on Thursday the 16th of August, 1804? I cannot take upon myself to say positively where he was, but the 16th of August is his birth-day, and he conimonly passes it at Oatlands.
Do you know whether he was at the Horse-Guards on the following day, the 17th of August. I cannot take upon myself to say, but it is a point very easily ascertained by reference to the dates; I have not the papers at hand to answer so precisely as that.
Do you recollect the Commander in Chief applying to you, either verbally or in writing, between the 16th and the 18th of August, to ask you whether he was in time to stop the publication of Major Tonya's promotion ? No, I have no such recollection.
Can you inform the Committee, whether any officer of the name of Aslett is to be found in the ariny list for that time! I have caused re. ference to be made to the army list, and no such person's name could be found in the list of the army.
Was there any major of the name of Bligh promoted about that time! I have caused a similar reference to be made to the army list, and I can find no such person.
Do you know whether an officer of the name of Bligh was removed about that time from the half-pay of the 54th foot, to be lieutenantcolonel of the 14th? On inquiry, the only officer of the name of Bligh who was removed about that time, was the honourable Colonel Bligh, who was removed from the half-pay to a regiment of foot.
What was his standing as lieutenant-colonel in the army?. I really do not know, but a reference to the army list will point it out at once.
Then, in point of fact, there was no major of the name of Aslett, and no major of the name of Bligh, promoted or removed about that period? Noue that I know of.
Do you know of any officer of the naine of Bacon, in the army! There is a Captain Bacon in the army, but I have no knowledge of bin whatever.
Did be apply for promotion about the period of July, August, or September, 1804: Not that I know of.
Do you know any thing of an officer of the name of Spedding? I find upon inquiry there was a Captain Spedding in the 48th regiment at that period.
Are there any documents in your office, respecting this officer's applications for promotion? I think I have the documents here. It appears he applied for pro:notion, and was refused ; and he then applied to go upon the half-pay, which was granted, and he is now, I think, upon the half-pay.
[Colonel Gordon delivered in the papers.] " In August 1804, Captain Spedding of the 48th regiment applied for promotion (No. 1), and as he was known to Sir Alured Clarke, an application was made to the latter for the character of Captain Spedding, by whose answer (No. 2), it appears that Sir Alured Clarke does not récollect such an ofhcer.
“In Nov. 1804, Capt. Spedding applied to be placed upon pay (No. 4), on account of a large family, and an intricacy which had recently occurred in his private attairs."
28th August, 1804. Not to be noted until a fair report shall be received from the Regt. “ To his Royal Highness Field Marshal the Duke of York,
Commander in Chief. " The memorial of John Spedding, Captain in the 48th
regiment of foot. “ Humbly sheweth, That your memorialist is a captain of 1798—has served the greatest part of his military life in the West Indies, and was never absent during the whole period from duty.
“ Your memorialist most humbly prays that your Royal Highness may be graciously pleased to grant him promotion. “ And your Royal Highness's memorialist,
as in duty bound, August 28th, 1804."
“ will ever pray."
7th Nov. 1804. Put by
“Rhual, near Chester, Nov. 7th, 1804. “ Your letter of the 29th ultimo directed to my house in town was forwarded to this place; but having been absent for a few days, I did not receive it till yesterday, which will, I hope, sufficiently account for
my not returning an earlier reply to his Royal Highness's commands. I cannot at present call to my recollection having had any personal acquaince with Captain John Spedding of the 48th regiment, and consequently cannot give the Conimander in Chief the intorination he requires ; or offer any opinion as to that officer's merit. I have been so many years einployed abroad on the public service, and in such various parts of the world, that it is not impossible but Capt. Spedding may have served under my orders; and I should be extremely sorry if my inmediate want of recollection of it should operate to his disadvantage ; if, therefore, he should be able to refresh my memory respecting him, by any communication he may think fit to make, I'shall have great pleasure in duing him justice, and obeying his Royal HighBess's commands. “I am, Sir, with great respect, and regard,
“ Your most obedient
“ Humble servant,
" ALURED CLARKE." “ Lieut. Colonel J. W. Gordon, Secretary to H. R. H. the Commander in Chief, &c. &c. &c.”
Mein. 23 Nov. 1804. Agreed to
Return this to J. M.
Strand, 14 Nov. 1804. "Y am directed by General Tonyn to transmit you the enclosed memorial, which the General begś leave to recommend to the notice of his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief.
" I have the honour to be,
" Your most humble and obedient servant,
“ WM. GILPIN.” il Lieut. Col. Gorelon,
&c. &c. &c."
" Acquaint Mr. Gilpin, for General Tonyn's informa
tion, that H. K. H. upproves of Captain Spedding
from that Est. to succeed him.
Albany, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's forces, &c. &c.
ment of foot; “Humbly Sheweth, “ 'That your Royal Highness's memorialist, on account of a large family, and an intricacy which has recently occurred in his private attairs, is desirous of retiring from the service upon half pay:
• That he has been ten years in the army, three of which he has been in the West Indies.
« That in the year 1799 he obtained leave of absence from the 11th