HC Deb 26 February 1810 vol 15 cc605-6
Mr. Whitbread

on the order of the day for the second reading of this Bill being moved, said, that understanding that a petition from the City of London had been that day presented to the House, against the bill, he trusted, that the right hon. gent. would see the propriety of not pressing the second reading on that day.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

confessed, that he could not possibly see the necessity of any such forbearance. He should therefore move that the Bill be now read a second time.—On this question being put from the Chair,

Mr. Whitbread

said, that he was very sorry to trespass upon the time of the House. He had already occupied too large a portion of their attention, and, perhaps, wearied out their indulgence in delivering at length, upon a former occasion, his opinions upon the merits of the late campaign in the peninsula. He should not now re-state those opinions, but content himself with referring the House to the consideration of the petition that had that day been presented to them from the city of London. The objections to the grant in question were put in so plain, clear, full, and satisfactory a manner as could not fail of making a serious impression upon the mind of every unprejudiced man. He thought, too, that even those who thought more highly of the services of lord Wellington than he did, might have very different, notions as to the lavish expenditure of the public money; they were not merely to consider whether lord Wellington deserved that remuneration, but whether it ought to be derived to him from the public purse. A near relative of the noble lord had, on a former night, favoured them with a statement of the private means of that noble lord which, though not of splendid munificence, was yet, he thought, such as proved that there was no necessity to press further, in the present instance, upon the public burthens.

Sir J. Newport

said, that when the merits of the case were last agitated, the fate of a much regretted friend of his (Mr. Eden) was involved in uncertainty. That uncertainty had since resolved itself into a melancholy certainty, and he thought that in consequence of that circumstance, it would have been well to have rewarded the services of lord Wellington with the sinecure thus left vacant, (the Tellership of the Exchequer.) That, however, instead of being given to one who had fought for his country abroad, had been bestowed on a person who had distinguished himself by fighting the battles of ministers at home. He thought the Petition from the City of London in-titled to great attention. Though he did justice to the prowess of lord Wellington, yet he was of opinion that while no such acknowledgment had been made of the services of gen. Moore, it did not become ministers to propose such a grant to the noble lord who had fought the battle of Talavera.

Mr. Hutchinson

spoke in favour of the splendid talents of lord Wellington, whom he thought, highly deserving this annuity.

Mr. H. Martin

said, the right hon. bart. had not received an answer to one point, viz. that ministers had, since the bill was brought in, an opportunity afforded them of giving lord Wellington the office of teller of the Exchequer. Why was the House called on to add to the sums the people were bound to pay, such an annuity as this, when he might have been so well rewarded without adding to their burdens, if ministers had not thought fit to give this valuable office to a right hon. gent. whose services no one had ever heard of?

Sir W. Curtis

said, he was always sorry to differ in opinion with the city of London, but he must exercise his own judgment, and he thought the gallant general so highly deserving of this annuity, that he could not but vote in favour of the second reading of the bill.—A division then took place.—For the second reading 106, Against it 36. Majority 70.