HC Deb 02 March 1808 vol 10 c873
Lord Castlereagh,

in calling the attention of the house to the notice respecting a Monument to be erected to the memory of lord Lake, which had been suspended by a notice, having a prior claim to the attention of the house, on a former night, did not mean to recur to that notice, or again to offer to the house the motion which was the subject of it, Having communicated with many persons devoted to the memory of Lord Lake, and participating in the high veneration in which he held the services of that gallant man, he found that it was the general wish of those persons to give way to the difficulties of parliamentary form that had arisen. The family of the noble lord, deeply penetrated with a sense of gratitude for the vote passed the other night, was willing to rest its claims on the public bounty there, than press a point upon which many of those who had voted in approbation of lord Lake's general merit and services, might be found in opposition. In this feeling he thought it his duty to concede; but he could not help lamenting, that parliament appeared to have laid it down as a principle, that the glorious testimony of a public monument was to be confined to the services of those who died in battle. Lord Howe's monument was the only exception to this rule, for that of lord Cornwallis's stood on entirely distinct ground. He admitted that the limitation to those who died in battle was a good and convenient general principle. But at the same time, When Monuments were held to be the most appropriate marks of public gratitude, as being at the same time most honourable to the deceased, and best calculated to excite emulation in the minds of posterity, it seemed to be a strange exclusion that prevented a lord Lake, a lord Rodney, and a lord Duncan, from being found among the illustrious heroes thus, consecrated to fame, while many persons of much inferior rank and merit were so honoured. The distinction would never be asked but for striking examples of merit and service, and the reward may safely be granted without the fear of deviating into abuse. It would certainly be no injury to those who fell in battle, to admit to a participation of this honour, those who had equally entitled themselves by victory, and who had no other bar to their claim but that of a greater interval of time between their service and their death. It was not the death but the service that was the proper object of reward.