HC Deb 31 January 1810 vol 15 cc262-5
Mr. Bankes

then said, he should use but a few words in prefacing the motion he should have to submit for the re-appointment of the Finance Committee. He was sure that there was not a gentleman in the House who would wish to oppose the re-appointment of this Committee. He should therefore first move that a Committee be appointed, and then he should submit the names of the gentlemen he had to propose, as likely to form an effective Committee for the purpose for which it was established. It was material for the House to consider to what sort of persons they delegated such a duty, for the object in view could never be attained, if the House did not make a proper choice of the members of whom the Committee was to be composed. The former Committee was too numerous, and the gentlemen were of jarring sentiments, so that no progress could be made. He proposed, therefore in the first place, to limit the present Committee to fifteen instead of twenty-one, and in selecting the members, he had taken them indiscriminately from both sides, making it his only study to suggest those who seemed most likely to promote the objects of their appointment. He meant nothing insulting or invidious to the gentlemen on the former Committee. But, if differences did arise among the members of such a Committee which led greatly to retard their progress, the House would hardly think that men of hostile minds, and with different views, not on the details, but on the broad principle on which the Committee was appointed, were fit men to sit with any good effect on such an investigation. They must, he submitted, be men of one sort or another. He concluded by moving, That a Committee be appointed to inquire into the Public Expenditure. This motion was carried unanimously—The hon. gent. then moved that the following be the names of the Committee. Mr. Henry Thornton, Mr. Biddulpb, Mr. Sturges Bourne, Mr. Brogden, Mr. Cavendish, Mr. Baring, Mr. Alderman Combe, Mr. Mills, Mr. Charles Ellis, Mr. Curwen, Mr. Peel, Mr. Davies Giddy, Mr. Bathurst, Mr. Bankes.

The House then resolved that the Committee should be appointed. On the motion being put, that Mr. Bankes should form one of the Committee,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said he did not mean to give any opposition to the Committee being formed, but he trusted that the House would pause before they gave their concurrence to the formation of a Committee so different in its principle from that in the preceding years. He wished members from all parts of the House to compose it, that they might the more easily discover the truth, from the different views which they might take of the same subject. He then proposed that the Committee should consist of twenty-one persons, and that the following six gentlemen should be added to fifteen of the members of the former Committee: The Hon. Mr. Ward, Mr. Peele, Mr. Giddy, Mr. Pattison, Mr. Charles Dundas, Mr. Howorth.

Sir John Newport

was not surprised at the wish of the right hon. gent. that the Committee should be composed of discordant materials, as he had given the House a sample of the happy effects of disunion in his discordant cabinet. He had an objection even to the list of the hon. gent. (Mr. Bankes), because it contained no member either for Scotland or Ireland. In no part of the empire had there been more abuses, more jobbing, more reversionary grants, more conversion of offices, first executed by principals, into sinecures, or offices executed by deputy, than in Ireland.

Mr. Bathurst

thought he had upon a former occasion voted against several of the members whom he personally knew and esteemed, yet he was of opinion, that the names of the Committee should be the same as last session, unless some reason could be assigned for removing any of them. But his hon. friend appeared to wish to have the Committee all his own way. This was not a political or a party question. As persons on the same side may differ as to the means of carrying a common object into effect, he could see no inconvenience that would arise from appointing persons of different opinions upon the Committee.

Mr. Bankes

, in explanation, staled, that he had never arrogated to himself the right of dictating to the committee; nor thought of nominating those only who would agree with him, upon it. It was impossible for any gentleman to look at the list he proposed, and assert, that the gentlemen upon it were persons who would submit to receive his dictation.

Mr. Fuller

was of opinion that the Committee had not hitherto done its duty, in not bringing forward a measure for the abolition of the three sinecure places which they had already brought forward. He hoped they would yet do their duly, and that every honest man of every party would support him in the general motion on this subject, which he should, have to bring forward in a few days. He thought the best mode of adjusting the list would be, for the honourable mover and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take man and man each.

Lord A. Hamilton

freed the hon. gent. from any idea of wishing to controul the Committee while he was chairman of it. He did not expect much from the Committee as it was last constituted; and he thought that after three years had elapsed from its first appointment, it was time some of the recommendations of the Committee should at last be carried into effect.

The Solicitor General

contended for the right of naming the Committee still being in his right hon. friend, out of whose hands the hon. gent. had attempted to lake it. To pass by the gentlemen of the last Committee, would be condemning them without any other proof than the hare assertion of the hon. gentleman.

Mr. Dennis Brown

expressed his readiness to defend himself and the other members of the last Committee from any charge that might be made against them.

Mr. H. Thornton

explained that no charge was made, except the impossibility of his hon. friend's supposing that they could act cordially together after several of them had shewn a disposition to withdraw themselves.

The question was then put, when the names of Mr. Bankes, Mr. H. Thornton, and Mr. Biddulph were agreed to without opposition. Mr. Bankes then proposed the name of Mr. S. Bourne.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, fortunately there was no man for whom he had a more sincere friendship than for the gentleman now named. It could not be supposed, therefore, that he opposed his name standing on the list for any other reason than because he was not one of the last committee.—He proposed that instead of the name of Mr. S. Bourne, there be inserted the name of Mr. Hawkins Brown.

The House divided on the question, that Mr. Sturges Bourne be one of the Committee. Ayes 107; Noes 98; Majority 9. Strangers were not again admitted into the gallery, but two further divisions took place which were understood to have been as follows: Mr. Bankes proposed Mr. Cavendish. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved as an amendment, that the name of Mr. Leycester be substituted instead of that or Mr. Cavendish. The House divided on the question, that Mr. Cavendish be one of the Committee. Ayes 108; Noes 103; Majority 5. Mr. Bankes then proposed Alderman Combe, upon which the Chancellor of the Exchequer moved an amendment, that Mr. Dermis Brown be substituted. The House divided on the question, that Mr. Alderman Combe be one of the Committee. Ayes 117; Noes 104; Majority 13.