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A N D
VOLUME THE SIXTH.
Τ Η Ε
For JANUARY, 1770. .
To the Editor of the POLITICAL Register. On the Transactions of Mr. Vaughan, and Mr. Hine, of Exeter,
with his Grace the Duke of Grafton.
ence the Duke of Grafton, by the tender of a sum of money, under an oath of secrefy, to dispose of the reversion of a place in favour of his son ;--and the accusation brought by JUNIUs against the noble duke, of having fold an employment under the government to Mr. Hine, have lately been the general topics of conversation in all public places. Nor does it appear at present, that either of the parties stand acquitted in the eyes of the public, of the crimes laid to their charge.--It will not therefore be improper at this time, to give your readers the sentiments of the ablest political writers, on transactions of this nature. And it may have this good effect -if the noble Duke is innocent in the affair of Mr. Hine, and Mr. Vaughan guilty in his application to his grace: the character of an incorruptible miniiter, which few ftatesmen have acquired, will be juftly merited by the Dof G
but if the transaction with Mr. Hine in favour of Col. B-Mall appear to be as heinous an offence against the state as Sam. Vaughan's attempt to corrupt his
grace ;-he will appear to be a molt detestable character, and wholly unfit to be intrusted with the administration of public affairs. Those who have hitherto undertaken the defence of the noble duke, rely much upon this circumstance, that he did not receive any pecuniary benefit from this bargain with Mr. Vol. VI.
Hine ; but they have forgot that if Col. B had rendered any service to the minister at the late general election, or at any other time had promoted the cause of administration, for which he was to receive his wages, the very first opportunity-the paying him in this manner was exactly the same thing, as if the Duke had received it from Hine and paid it to Col. B-, as it was a debt owing by the Duke to the Colonel, which he discharged through the hands of Hine. So that in fact, this transaction was for the D
of G z's emolument. From which it likewise appears, that the detriment arising to a free state from the sale of offices, does not confift in the minister's receiving and pocketing the purchase money ; but in his making use of this fcandalous method to secure to himself a number of creatures. and dependents, who may be bribed to make his will the law of the land. On this subject, we have some jndicious remarks in a work, intitled, the Accomplished Senator, written originally in Latin, by Laurence Grimald Gorlikki, Senator and Chancellor of Poland, and translated into English by Mr. Oldisworth in the year 1733.
" There is nothing, says this able politician, in which a government can better employ all its care and caution, than in preserving its employments from being profituted and exposed to fale ; liable to be marketed and exchanged for money, instead of being made the prizes and rewards of virtue. Nor is it eafy to be too ftrict and rigorous in punishing those, who are bribed and hired to make war against virtue. Avarice is a compendious way of ruining a state. For when the rich and wealthy have plainly gotten the ascendant and advantage over the good and virtuous, every subject and citizen will naturally, make it his whole study and endeavour, to improve his fortune rather than his character, and how soon then must a state be over-run with effeminacy, fraud, luxury, covetousness, and all other vices whatever! Where this is the case, virtue will soon be trod under foot. The piety of the priest, the bravery of the soldier, the prudence, fidelity, and diligence of the fenator, and the civil difcipline of the whole body of the people, will be all set aside, to make room for avarice and self-intereft, for fameless and undaunted impudence, for violence, oppreslion, injustice, and the most unclean, favage, and barbarous vices. - And when a taie is unhappily placed under 'the direction of a set of corrupt and wicked minifters who carry the leffer employments of thae late to market, its affairs can never be well and duly adminiftered, but it will become difficult to trace the footsteps of justice and equity, or to discover so much as the least remains, or perhaps cven the form of religion in such a government."
If we review history, says another writer, we Mall find that bribery and corruption on the part of bad minifters, have not so otici operated bad effects from their personal acceptance of sums of money ;-as in their disposal of the public money and of places. of emolument to extend their influence, and to fix themselveste securely in the seat of power. Thus it has frequently happened
that a prime minister has refused the most magnificent presents, the largest venal offers on the one hand, while on the other, he has been abundantly profuse in tendering the same temptations to corrupt others. And this reason muit ever be assigned for the incompatibility of a minister's conduct, who shall refuse the tene der of a sum of money to corrupt him, and in the same hour shall be bribing twenty persons by the dint of money to forfake the true intereit of their country, for a blind attachment to him and his measures that the object is so very considerable and ex: tenfive when the minifter bribes, in comparison of Iris receiving a bribe ; and that in the end, it amounts to the same thing, and yet saves the reputation of the minister with the unthinking part of mankind. For hę who can secure a majority in the House of Commons in his favour, by the proftitution or fale of public employments, or by the distribution of money, annuities, or penfions, will be able to undermine the conititution fo far, that the commons in Parliament may vote away the people's money ; and the minifter having poffeffion of the public treasure, and knowing in this situation of things, that he is perfe&ly safe from being called to any account for the disposal of it, he may fecurely plunder the coffers of the nation ; and yet to shew that he is incorruptible, may boldty refuse a personal bribe, and prosecute to ruin, the fool that tenders it.
Indeed it is idle to fuppose, in a nation where minifterial inftuence is gót to such a height as to bar all legal means of punishing courtiers, that a sum of money will be accepted from an individual by a premier who has the means in his hands of gratifying His avarice, if that be bis vice, at the public expence, without putting his reputation in the hands of a private corruptor. This seems to have been the case in the transa&ions which have lately been laid before the public. And till Mr. Justice and the other vindicators will point out a real, public service performed by Col. B --e, for the benefit of his country, meriting either a gross fum, or an annual income, independent of his military appointment, the D- of G will appear to be a corruptor and a venal m f, who had actually received a minifterial benefit from Col. B-e, which he repaid by giving him the fale of a place, that ought to have been the reward of the fidelity of some inferior servant in that department of the revenue
which the vacancy happened. Nor will a judicious people think otherwise of his refusal" of Mr. Vaughan's offer, than as an artful attempt to cover a multitude of great ca s by the external appearance of virtue and integrity, in a case, where the temptation was by no means adequate to the danger that was to be apprehended from yielding to it. In fine, Sir, the confequence to the nation is much more fatal, to have a minister charged with dealing out bribes to all ranks and orders of men, than if he could only be accused of having secretly and privately pocketed a pretty large fee from an individual, for a compliance with a privatë request. Oxford, Dec. 22, 1769.