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« membered as long as the records of this house, as a long as the records of the British treasury, as long as " the monumental debt of England shall endure. This " gentleman, Sir, acts as attorney for Mr. Paul Ben"field. Every one who hears me, is well acquainted " with the sacred friendship, and the steady mutual at6 tachment that subsists between him and the present s minister. As many members as chose to atiend in “ the first session of this parliament, can best tell their
own feelings at the scenes which were then acted. « How much that honourable gentleman was consul« ted in the original frame and fabric of the bill, com« monly called Mr. Pitt's India bill, is matter only of 6. conjecture; though by no means difficult to divine. « But the public was an indignant witness, of the osten« tation with which that measure was made his own,
&c.??". The reformation may be estimated, by “ seeing who was the reformer. Paul · Benfield's asas sociate and agent, was held up to the world, as the le«. gislator of Indostan. But it was necessary to authenti"cate the coalition, between the men of intrigue in «**: India, and the minister of intrigue in Englund, by a « studied display of the power of this their connecting o link! Every trust, every honour, every distinction, 61 was to be heaped upon him. He was at once made “ a director of the India Company; made an alderman " of LONDON, and to be made, if ministry could pre«: vail, (and I am sorry to say how near, how very near " they were prevailing;) representative of the capital of
, this kingdom. i Buu to secure his services against all « risque, he was brought in for a ministerial borough.On « his part, he was not wanting in zeal for the common « cause.' His advertisements shew bis motives, and the « merits upon which he stood. For your minister, this worn-out veteran, submitted to enter into the • dusty field of the London contest ; and
all, rew member, that in the same virtuous cause, he submit
to keep a sort of public office or counting house, where ço the whole business of the last general election was ma"naged. It was openly managed by the direct agent u and attorney of Benfield. It was managed upor
“ Indian principles, and for an Indian interest. This “ was the
golden cup of abominations; this the chalice « of the fornications of rapine, usury, and oppression, e which was held out by the gorgeous eastern harlot ; “ which so many of the people, so many of the nobles “ of this land, had drained to the very dregs. Do you “ think that no reckoning was to follow this lewd de“ bauch? that no payment was to be demanded, for “ this riot of public drunkenness and national prostitu« tion ? Here! you have it, here before you. The • principal of the grand election manager, must be in“ demnified ; accordingly the claims of Benfield and “ his crew, must be put above all inquiry.”-Again : “ Thus, besides the arrears of three years, amounting « to l. 106,500, (which as fast as received, may be • legally lent out at 12 per cent,) Benfield has received « by the ministerial grant before you, an annuity of " 1.35,520 a year, charged on the public revenues. Our " mirror of ministers of finance, did not think this “ enough for the services of such a friend as Benfield." Then, after additional statements, Mr. Burke proceeds. -- You must therefore, consider Benfield as soucar
security for 1.480,000 a year, which at 24 per cent
(supposing him contented with that profit) will, with “ the interest of his old debt, produce an annual in
come of l. 149,520 a year.
“ Here is a specimen of the new and pure aristocracy o created by the right honourable gentleman, as the
support of the crown and constitution, against the “ old, corrupt, refractory, natural interests of this
kingdom ; and this is the grand counterpoise against « all odious coalitious, of these interests. A single “ Benfield out-weighs them all ; a criminal, who long “ since ought to have fattened the region kites with his
offal, is by his majesty's ministers, inthroned in the government of a great kingdom, and enfeoffed with
an estate, which in the comparison effaces the splen“ dor of all the nobility of Europe." &c. &c. &c.
Again : “ It was long before any public account of “ this discovery at Madras,". [One, on which he had said, " an universal indignation arose against the per
fidy of Mr. Benfield's proceedings :" &c.] had ar" rived in England, that the present minister, and his " board of controul, thought fit to determine on the “ debt of 1777. The recorded proceedings at this “ time, knew nothing of any debt to Benfield. There
was his own testimony; there was the testimony of " the list; there was the testimony of the Nabob of “ Arcot against it. Yet such was the ministers' feeling “ of the true secret of this transaction, that they thought
proper, in the teeth of all these testimonies, to give « him licence to return to Madras. Here the minis
ters were under some embarrassment. Confounded “ between their resolution of rewarding the good ser“ vices of Benfield's friends and associates in England, “ and the shame of sending that notorious incendiary
to the court of the Nabob of Arcot, to renew his in
trigues against the British government at the time they “ authorized his return they forbid him, under the
severest penalties, from any conversation with the “ Nabob, or his ministers ; that is, they forbid his com"munication with the very person on account of his “ dealings, with whom they permit his return to that “ city. To overtop this contradiction, there is not a “ word restraining him from the freest intercourse with “ the Nabob's second son, the real author of all that 6 is done in the Nabob's name; who, in conjunction “ with this very Benfield, has acquired an absolute do“ minion over that unhappy man, is able to persuade “ him to put his signature to whatever paper they
please, and often without any communication of their « contents. This management was detailed to them « at full length by Lord Macartney, and they cannot “ pretend ignorance of it.
1. I believe after this exposure of facts, no man can “ entertain a doubt of a collusion of ministers, with the “ corrupt interests of the delinquents in India. When“ ever those in authority provide for the interest of any
person, on the real but concealed state of his affairs, “ without regard to his avowed, public, and ostensible
pretences, it must be presumed, that they are in con“ federacy with him, because they act for him on the “ same fraudulent principles, on which he acts for 6 himself. It is plain, that the ministers, were fully
apprised of Benfield's real situation, which he had “ used means to conceal, while concealment answered “ his purposes. They were, or the person on whom «« they relied, was of the cabinet council of Benfield, “ in the very depth of all his mysteries. An honest ma
gistrate compels men to abide by one story. An “ equitable judge would not hear of the claim of a man, “ who had himself thought proper to renounce it. “ With such a judge his shuffling, and prevarication “ would have damned his claims, but such a judge
never would have known, but in order to animadvert upon, proceedings of that character.
I have thus laid before you, Mr. Speaker, I think “ with sufficient clearness, ihe connection of the mi“ nisters with Mr. Atkinson, at the general election ; “ I bave laid open to you, the connection of Atkinson « with Benfield ; I have shewn Benfield's employment “ of his wealth, in creating a parliamentary interest, to
procure a ministerial protection ; I have set before
your eyes, his large concern in the debt, his practices "to hide that concern from the public eye, and the li“ beral protection which he has received from the minis“ ter. If this chain of circumstances do not lead you “ necessarily to conclude, that the minister has paid to “ the avarice of Benfield, the services done by Ben
field's connections to his ambition, I do not know any “ thing short of the confession of the party, that can
persuade you of his guilt. Clandestine and collusive “practice, can only be traced by combination and com“ parison of circumstances. To reject such combina“tion, is to reject the only means of detecting fraud; it
indeed to give it a patent and free licence to cheat 6 with impunity.”
HUS then we see that, between the minister and Mr. Benfield, political sympathies stimulating to the warmest reciprocation of services, had for many years subsisted; and Mr. Boyd of Hamburgh-memory, is well known to have possessed talents of singular congeniality with those of “the first financier in the world;" and to have aided that financier with those talents, by the fabrication of fictitious bills, with a view, no doubt, “ to essential public interests;” besides which, the period of the loan having been i hat of a general election, and “ the grand parliamentary reformer,” Mr. Benfield, having had upon his hands at the time, an expensive contest, in which case any thing untoward in the case of that gentleman might, by a reforining statesman, have been considered as “ a great public mischief;" taking all these matters duly into consideration, we cannot be surprized that the friend of Boyd and Benfield, should wish to "accommodate” them.
. When indeed Mr. Burke, so early as 1785, spoke of “the son of Chatham," as even then plunging without scruple into the depths of corruption, such was the general persuasion of his “heaven-born" origin and purity, that no impression was then made on the public mind; and, for the same reason, as little regard was paid to Mr. Burke's charges of state intrigue and faction. We must not therefore be surprized that, when in 1790, the orator, by his celebrated • Reflections on the revolution in France," had thoroughly prepared the minds of the English aristocracy, for falling into the snares of the minister, while he was meditating war to ward off reform, he should have powerfully added to those prejudices and impositions on which the minister's s power was founded, so as to make him the irresistible, omnipotent personage we remember him to have