HC Deb 09 February 1808 vol 10 cc409-10
Sir F. Burdett ,

seeing the chancellor of the exchequer in his place, wished to put a question to him, in order that he might be satisfied, upon authority, of the truth of certain rumours which were in circulation. It had been stated in the public prints, that his majesty had granted large sums, out of the proceeds of property belonging to nations not at war with this country, to several branches of the royal family, and particularly to the duke of York. What he wished to know was, whether this statement was correct; and if so, upon what ground it was that his majesty could seize the property of nations not at war with this country?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was willing to give the hon. baronet every information he required on the subject. But first he must apprise the hon. baronet of a misapprehension which he seemed to labour under, With respect to the principle upon which his majesty's right to the property in question was founded. It was true that the property had been seized previous to his majesty's formal declaration of war, but war had since been declared, and the question respecting the property had .been referred to the competent tribunal and condemned. The right of his majesty, therefore, grounded upon such a decision, was incontrovertible. It was true that his majesty had granted a certain sum out of the proceeds of such property to each of the junior male branches of the royal family, and to the duke of York amongst the rest.

Sir F. Burdett

thanked the right hon. gent. for the frankness of his answer, and intimated his intention to bring the subject before parliament on a future day.