§ Mr. R. Ward
again alluded to the discussion which had taken place on a former night as to the causes of the dis- 1135 missal of Mr. Dalrymple from the office of hydrographer to the Admiralty, and stated that he understood an hon. gent. opposite to him was now satisfied on this head.
§ Mr. Horner
said, he had taken some part in the conversation on this subject on a former night. He had since been shewn the correspondence on the subject, and he was satisfied that Mr. Dalrymple had exhibited a degree of contumacy which was probably inconsistent with the performance of his duties to the admiralty. He was of opinion, however, that if the board had exhibited to that respectable gentleman the greatest possible degree of liberality and indulgence, it was nothing but what his long and meritorous services justly entitled him to.
§ Mr. W. Pole
said, that considering the manner in which he had formerly been alluded to, when a noble lord, not then present, had brought the subject of the removal of Mr. Dalrymple before the house, and the peculiar situation in which he stood respecting that transaction, he trusted he might be permitted to give some explanation of what had passed. He said he owed it to the public, to the admiralty, and to himself, to state the circumstances which had led to Mr. Dalrymple's removal: it would give him extreme pain to be under the necessity of bringing anything before the house or the public that could in any degree tend to create uneasiness to the friends of Mr. Dalrymple, or could at all affect the memory of that respectable gentleman. Mr. Pole said, he understood the hon. gent. to have expressed himself to be satisfied, that under the circumstances of the case, as he found them in the papers which had been prepared, and had been shewn to the hon. gent, by his hon. friend (Mr. Ward), the board of admiralty could not do otherwise than dismiss Mr. Dalrymple. He understood the hon. gent, to say, that the duty the admiralty owed to the public, certainly justified them completely in the step they had taken. He seemed to admit that they had treated Mr. Dalrymple with justice. But Mr. Pole said, he owned it astonished him to hear the hon. gent, insinuate, that more lenity might have been shewn, and that he should have been better pleased if more indulgence and liberality had been shewn him.
§ Mr. Horner
rose and said the hon. gent. had quite misunderstood him, he had meant no such insinuation, what he had said was in quite another view.
§ Mr. W. Pole
resumed: he said he was extremely glad to find that he had misunderstood the hon. gent. He certainly thought he had meant such an insinuation. He then begged permission of the house to state the circumstances which led to Mr. Dalrymple's removal; that about the month of Nov. last, the first lord of the admiralty, upon ascertaining that his majesty's fleets were not supplied with charts upon any regular and settled principle, and considering that great inconvenience had arisen from the king's ships in many parts of the world being unfurnished with proper charts for their guidance, determined to lay down a system by which in future all his majesty's ships in every part of the world should be supplied with the best charts existing for the station to which they might belong; and in order to effect this most desirable and important object, the first lord of the admiralty had called upon the board to issue their orders to the hydrographer to prepare a proper selection. Mr. Dalrymple, in return to this order, had stated that he was incompetent to make the selection, from not having a local knowledge of many seas, and for a variety of other reasons; and he recommended that in order to carry the first lord's plan into execution, a committee of ten officers should be appointed to select and arrange the charts proper to be issued to the navy. From the moment however that this committee, as recommended by Mr. Dalrymple, was appointed, it became impossible for them to proceed in the performance of their duty. It had fallen to his lot, as it was a part of his duty, to examine into the state of the hydrographer's office; it was impossible to describe the confusion in which he found it; from Mr. Dalrymple's infirmities, it could not be otherwise. He wished at all times, as he always had done, to speak of that venerable and respectable gentleman, with every possible degree of tenderness and attention, with all the consideration due to his talents, to his great acquirements and his eminent services. But it was impossible not to admit, that the state of his office was such, as to prevent all chance of proceeding with the arrangements necessary for the good of the service under his management. The house would perceive the truth of this remark, when he informed them, that Mr. Dalrymple's habits were such, that he seldom or never came to his office before three o'clock, and that the office of the hydrographer closed at 1137 four. A variety of unpleasant circumstances occurred, upon which Mr. Pole said, he would not dwell; several discussions took place at the board of admiralty on the subject. It was found to be impossible to proceed with the plans that had been ordered, unless Mr. Dalrymple retired from his office; and the board were extremely desirous that Mr. Dalrymple should be removed in the manner most grateful to his feelings, and upon the footing the most creditable and delicate towards him. It became, Mr. Pole said, his duty to communicate the sentiments of their lordships to Mr. Dalrymple. In the month of April an interview took place, and Mr. Dairymple had printed an account of the conversation that passed at it; this account, Mr. Pole said, was certainly not correct; it was indeed almost impossible that it should be so, as it was certainly set down merely from memory, and the conversation was a very long one. He believed, however, that no person who had seen Mr. Dalrymple's report of the conversation would say that his part of it, at least, was not conducted in a spirit of conciliation, and with all the respect and delicacy due to a person of Mr. Dalrymple's character and high attainments. He had been instructed to tell Mr. Dalrymple, that their lordships proposed he should retire upon the largest pension they were authorized to give by his majesty's order in council. The conversation closed by Mr. Dairymple's refusing to be superannuated; and from that period, said Mr. Pole, to the end of the month of May, many things occurred that rendered it at length absolutely necessary that Mr. Dalrymple's removal should take place. It became a question whether he should remain, and the public service, in a matter thought of the utmost importance to the safety of the king's ships in every part of the world, be absolutely impeded; or whether he should retire upon an allowance, deemed by his majesty in council an adequate reward for long and faithful services. The board of admiralty determined upon the latter proceeding, and he had been commanded to write to him, acquainting him with their lordships' decision. His letter on the 28th of May, Mr. Dalrymple had also printed. It would be seen, he trusted, that it was written in the same spirit of consideration for Mr. Dairymple's feelings, which the admiralty had manifested through the whole transaction. There was one passage in the letter which 1138 required explanation: the board of admiralty had directed him to state to Mr. Dalrymple, that upon application for superannuation, their lordships would order his retirement upon a pension to the full extent allowed by the king's order in council. The admiralty had given this order, because they conceived that in granting public money to any individual, they were bound to shew the public that the individual, however meritorious, was not so circumstanced as to be enabled to retire without requiring aid, which his majesty was pleased to sanction in such cases. Mr. Dalrymple, however, disdained to make the application; but the admiralty, the day after his removal, having heard, that his circumstances were not affluent, but that he objected to make to them the usual application, had directed an order to be sent to the navy board for his superannuation, which accordingly took place. Mr. Pole concluded by trusting he had satisfied the house, that through the whole of this proceeding the utmost respect, consideration, and tenderness, had been manifested to Mr. Dalrymple, and that his removal from his office had arisen from absolute necessity.
§ Mr. Horner
repeated what he had formerly stated. He imputed no blame, to the admiralty board for dismissing Mr. Dalrymple: as he had already said, he should have been better pleased, if they had pursued their indulgence to the utmost degree to which it could be carried, which, in his opinion, they might have done on account of the past and meritorious services of that very eminent and respectable man.