HC Deb 23 June 1815 vol 31 cc996-8
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

next moved, "That a sum not exceeding 534,713l. be granted to his Majesty, to make good the deficiency of the Civil List on the 5th day of April 1814: and that the said sum be issued and paid without any fee or other deduction whatsoever." The right hon. gentleman observed, that this excess resolved itself into two branches,—the increase in the diplomatic arrangements resulting from the peculiar circumstances of the war, and the excess in the household. In regard to the latter, after allowing for the expenditure occasioned by the visit of the foreign Sovereigns to this country; and also for the charges incurred by his royal highness the Prince Regent on assuming the royal authority, it would be found that the Civil List had not exceeded that proportion of excess which was estimated by the late Mr. Perceval in 1805. In 1812, there was an excess of expenditure beyond the former year of 124,000l.; but it must not be forgotten that a considerable charge was thrown upon the Civil List by the arrangements of that year. It remained for the liberality of Parliament to provide an increase of allowance, for the purpose of meeting the ordinary expenditure without any excess. At present, however, he should merely propose to the House to make good the arrears already incurred.

Sir C. Burrell

wished to be informed, why no reply had been given to the Address of the House, respecting the regulation of the Household, and whether it was intended to defer the answer till the next session?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the estimates had not yet been received; but he certainly concluded, that his Royal Highness would be recommended to give an answer to the Address before the rising of Parliament.

Mr. Barclay

was of opinion, that some provision should be made for the liquidation of his Royal Highnesses debts, and also that some arrangements should be made respecting the other branches of the Royal family.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that a specific provision had been made for the liquidation of those debts which were ascertained when his Royal Highness assumed the Regency. A considerable portion had been discharged, and in no long time the remainder would be liquidated, when an appropriation of 50,000l. a year would be placed at the disposal of Parliament. As to the other branches of the Royal family, he did not think it proper for him to make any communication whatever to the House without the express direction of the Crown.

Mr. Bankes

expressed his approbation of the sum proposed to be granted, and agreed in thinking that the farther consideration of the subject of the Civil List could be better discussed in the next session of Parliament than now. It might be proper to grant an increase of allowance, as the expenditure had progressively increased, in consequence of the price of all articles of consumption having rapidly advanced since the accession of his Majesty, and particularly in latter times; but he trusted, when this increase should be made, that as much care would be taken as possible to prevent a recurrence of arrears.

Mr. William Smith

complained of the great excess in the Civil List during the three last years, and declared that he gave his vote for the sum with great reluctance. The money, however, must be paid, as the loss would otherwise fall on those who ought not to suffer. If the regulations and arrangements proposed by the select committee upon the Civil List should be adopted, the expense of the Crown would be kept within due limits, and future applications to Parliament for the liquidation of debts would be avoided.

The Resolution was then agreed to.