HC Deb 07 June 1815 vol 31 cc658-60
Sir Charles Monck,

without imputing any improper conduct to those who had the management of the estates in Northumberland, belonging to Greenwich Hospital, (which estates, from his own observation, he could say, were in many respects managed exceedingly well,) thought it desirable that the House should be put in possession of the sums expended on, and the revenue derived from them. He therefore moved, "That there be laid before this House, an account of the gross rental of the estates of Greenwich Hospital, in the county of Northumberland, and of the net produce of them in the years 1808,1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814, distinguishing the net produce of lands, houses, woods, mines, and other different kinds of produce, from each ether, and the net produce of the whole from the gross produce of the whole. 2. An account of all monies expended upon repairing, extending, building anew, and rebuilding farm-houses, out-houses, and all other appurtenances to farm-houses and farm-offices, upon the said estates, in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814. 3. An account of the number of agents and bailiffs employed in managing the said estates, with their several Barnes and salaries."

Mr. Croker

said, that the estates had been exceedingly well managed, and it could not have been the interest of the receivers that they should be otherwise, as the expenses incurred on the lands could not be the means of putting a single farthing into their pockets. He could not say that they had been regulated with the same economy with which a private gentleman might manage his own estate; but within the last ten years their produce had been doubled. In the year 1805 the rental of them was 18,000l. and in the last year it was somewhere about 40,000l. This increase had been effected in such a way, that it had not been oppressive to the tenants. There were no had debts in consequence of the advanced rents, no runaway tenants, but on the contrary, those living on the estates were in a state of comfort, if not of affluence. The papers called for would give the House very imperfect information with respect to the general state of the affairs of the Hospital, but they might supply the hon. baronet with the means of more satisfactorily investigating the subject during the recess; and therefore he should not resist the motion.

Sir M. W. Ridley

understood the estates were at present managed by two receivers, who were paid 1,500l. per annum. He thought one person would be sufficient to look to them, and that he might be paid with a smaller salary. There were also a number of agents and under-agents, who might be dispensed with. Other re- trenchments he thought might be made. At all events the accounts ought to be produced, as they would be satisfactory to the House, and were but what they had a right to demand.

Mr. Croker

stated the receivers to be paid by a per-centage on what they collected, and it was thought two would be better than one, as each might be supposed in some measure to be a check on the other.

Mr. Baring

thought it was impossible the estates could be managed so economically as they ought, to be, and therefore was of opinion it might be better to sell them, and place the money in the funds.

Mr. Long

said the question whether or not it would be wise to sell them, and place the money in the funds, was not now before the House. This, however, they had before them—that in 1805, they produced but 18,000l. and that in the last year they gave 40,000l. Had they been sold ten years ago, he feared the result would have been less favourable for the Hospital. He had no objection to the production of the papers. He was confident the whole of the directors would be willing to give the House all possible information en the subject; and he doubted not, on an inquiry being made, every thing would be found perfectly satisfactory.

The motion was then put and carried.