§ Sir M. W. Ridley
rose, pursuant to notice, to move an address to his royal highness the Prince Regent, to remove such of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty as could be spared without detriment to the public service. In the address, with which he should have the honour to conclude his speech, he would not point out the number that might be reduced; but if the address was carried, would leave the determination of that point to the counsels of his Royal Highness. If he were required to deliver his own opinion he would say, that two might be reduced, leaving thus four to perform the effective duties of the Board. If ever there was a subject on which he was more reluctant to obtrude himself on the notice of the House than another, it was the present: and if ever there was a time when the consideration of it was more important than another, it was the present. The cry of retrenchment had resounded through all parts of the country; it had been echoed from one side of the House to the other, and all professed to have the same object equally at heart. 655 He could have wished, therefore, that the measure he now brought forward had originated with his majesty's government. If the noble lord opposite had proposed such a measure, he would have deserved the thanks of the country, and would have had his support, as he was attached to no party. He remembered, however, the former conduct of government, and did not expect much from them in the way of retrenchment. He remembered they were prodigal in their promises of economy, and as prodigal in their wasteful expenditure of the public money in the face of those promises. Last year, after such promises they brought down estimates so extravagant that they were compelled afterwards to reduce them. He remembered that they tried to raise the salary of the secretary of that board, whose reduction was the object of the present motion, and only relinquished the design when they saw the opposition made to it. He allowed that a number of sinecure places were to be abolished, but no immmediate saving would accrue. Sinecures might be reduced too far; but, at any rate, no present relief could be calculated upon. The hon. baronet, adverting to the otter made by ministers to surrender a part of their salary, expressed his disapprobation of looking to the reduction of the income of efficient officers of the crown, who were in general underpaid, as a source of relief. He did not expect much in point of real saving from the measure he now proposed, even though it were carried; but it would be laying the foundation of a system of reduction by which the undue influence of ministers might be abridged. Previous to the reign of Henry 8th, there was no navy: in time of war, when ships were wanted, they were either hired from the merchants at home, or purchased from foreign traders. In the reign of Henry a sort of navy-board was established, dock-yards were built, and commissioners were appointed to regulate them. This lasted through the subsequent reigns, till the time of Charles 1st, when some alteration took place in the management of the system, and two committees, consisting of three individuals each, were appointed to superintend the new plan of naval administration. Whatever disposition the admiralty lords of the present day might feel to imitate their predecessors, there was one point to which he did not think they would be anxious to carry their imitation;—he alluded to the salaries formerly enjoyed, for 656 he had found from old documents that the lords commissioners in the time of Charles received but 3s a day [a laugh.] During the disturbances that afterwards occurred in the reign of Charles, the navy was neglected and became insignificant, till Cromwell, by great and constant exertions, raised it to a degree of high eminence and power. All branches of the service were improved; the number of ships was increased; and the dock-yards became more important depots. In the feeble administration, however, of Richard, Cromwell's son, the navy again fell to decay. On the restoration of Charles 2nd, the navy revived, partly under the direction of the Duke of York, but chiefly from the activity and attention of Mr. Secretary Pepys. who first introduced regularity and system I into his department The conduct pursued by that distinguished individual was well worthy of the imitation of the ministers of the present day. He did not cast his eyes about to see from what quarter he should procure such persons as would best secure or augment his parliamentary influence; but, on the contrary he looked for the most able professional men, whose knowledge and experience fitted them best for performing the duties of a naval administration. To this great object, of strengthening and improving the state of the navy rather than of augmenting his own power, he paid an ardent and unexampled degree of vigilant attention. Since that period a navy board had been in constant force, though the commissioners had varied in numbers; sometimes they were five, sometimes only four. In 1702, when Prince George was at the head of the naval lords, their number was only four: in 1706, the number was the same. In 1709, when lord Orford was first commissioner, the number was four: in 1714, under the earl of Strafford, the number was five: in 1717, under lord Berkeley it was five: in 1775, under lord Sandwich the number was still five. Since that time he was aware that the number was usually six. Perhaps the business of the board had increased during the long wars that had succeeded; but though that number might be necessary during the increased operations of war, he saw no reason why it should be continued in peace, when it could be no longer necessary. If the increase of numbers had been a matter of necessity, it should cease with the necessity; if it were to be considered as a grievance, its long continuance should be no argument 657 for its permanence. He believed that he should be acquitted of all wish to throw personal imputations on any men; but he thought that the House should go with him, if he could show that the appointment of six lords was neither consistent with former practice nor with the necessity of present circumstances. Mr. Secretary Pepys. in his naval administration, had laid down a rule which was well worthy the attention of his majesty's ministers: he took care not to employ any gentlemen who were not masters of naval affairs, and distinguished at the same time for strict integrity and regular habits of industry [Hear! hear!]. To this testimony he might add the recommendation which some years ago appeared in the report of the commissioners appointed to investigate the state of the naval management. They had stated their conviction as to the necessity of employing the most effective means for the right administration of the navy: and observed, how much depended on scientific knowledge, on ablity, on uninterrupted industry, and recommended, that no other circumstances should be permitted to introduce any persons into the board of admiralty management except the being fit for all the duties of their situation. How far his majesty's ministers had complied with this recommendation, he left it to the House and the public to judge. When it was seen that a cornet of hussars, without the slightest pretensions to naval knowledge, was made a lord of the admiralty, what motive could be supposed to have influenced the minds of those who made him so, except such a motive as was too obvious to every understanding to make it necessary for him even to touch upon it? He must be permitted to regret that it was not more the custom of the House to attend to the recommendations of its committees. Had it done so in the present case, it would not now be his duty to make his present motion: but he must say, that it was absurd to appoint committees for the consideration of different subjects, and yet to entirely disregard all their suggestions. The committee had observed, that in time of peace it might be a fair subject of deliberation whether some reduction might not take place of the number of these admiralty fords without any detriment to the public service. The question was, whether the present was such a time as they had contemplated. At the period of their observation the number of seamen employed was 140,000: the present number was 658 about 19,000. At that time there were 1,200 vessels in service: at present he believed that the vessels of every sort and description did not amount to 200 Could any thing, then, justify the continuance of these useless lords, unless it was meant to say that their offices ought to be kept as sinecure offices for the reward of the friends of ministers? He really was at a loss to know what ground of defence would be resorted to. The noble lord on a former occasion had talked of the board of admiralty having been constituted on its present scale at the time of the revolution: he trusted that he had entirely shown the fallacy of that supposition. The noble lord had also said something about innovation: but this charge of innovation made against a useful reform came with a very ill grace from him who was recommending the monstrous innovation of removing the very bulwark of our liberties. At such a time it became the House more especially to take cafe, that before they rejected a motion like the present, their motive for so rejecting it was solely for the public good. They ought to show themselves incapable of any bias, except towards the common welfare. And ministers should make it appear, that from whatever side a motion of useful retrenchment should come, they would be ready to adopt it, if it were not inconsistent with the public safety; and above all, that they would not reject it on any grounds of parliamentary influence. He concluded with moving,
"That an humble address be presented to his royal highness the Prince Regent, to represent to his Royal Highness, that his majesty's faithful Commons, relying upon the gracious disposition of his royal highness, to make every reduction in our establishments, which the safety of the empire and sound policy allow, humbly pray, that his Royal Highness would be graciously pleased to give directions, that the lords commissioners of the admiralty may be reduced to such a number as the exigencies of the public service may actually require."
began by returning thanks to the hon. baronet for the temperate and candid manner in which he had introduced his motion; and he owed it to the candour of the hon. baronet to state, that it certainly had not been in the contemplation of his majesty's ministers to submit any recommendation to the Prince Regent for the abolition of the offices now under consideration. Per- 659 haps, however, it would have been better if the hon. baronet had waited for the results of that committee of finance which was now sitting. He must certainly express his regret at the novel course now adopted by the hon. gentleman on the other-side, a course which seemed to him to be in direct opposition to those parliamentary rules which had been framed on a comprehensive view of public utility; he alluded to that course of insulated and unconnected notices respecting different places and appointments; the perpetual renewal and suspension of which over the heads of the House, kept the public mind in a state of constant agitation. The hon. baronet in bringing forward his present motion had not at all carried his view beyond the particular office. Now, in all the published records that he had ever seen of motions of this nature, it had always been the practice to proceed on some comprehensive and general principle. Mr. Burke, when he introduced his celebrated bill for the reform of several offices in the state, grounded it on a connected view of the whole condition of the country. Mr. Pitt, when he brought forward a plan of economical reform after the American war, had also opened his scheme as part of a general system, embracing all branches of the public service. He should, however, feel it his duty to follow the hon. baronet through such a view of the subject as he had thought proper to take. But here he could not admit that office was to be tried by that strict rule which the hon. baronet seemed to contemplate, that public business was always to be done by the fewest possible hands. If this principle of making persons in high office perform all the labour possible, without any such relaxation as they might be supposed to require, were acted upon, offices of state would be filled by very different persons from those who now filled them. [Hear, and a laugh from the Opposition.] Did the hon. gentlemen mean to say that the labour performed should be precisely as much as a man could perform without any relief? Did they mean to hold out the expectation that any man of liberal rank in life would submit to such a rule? And would they go further, and drive out of administration all those young men of high birth whose accession to a government was one of the best pledges for the security of the constitution? Would they tie down persons of this description to the same labo- 660 rious routine of duty as a banker's clerk or a merchant's apprentice? And as to these different notices of motions for retrenchment, he felt that, altogether, their amount was but trifling—not above 4 or 5,000l. at the most. He here excepted a motion about the office of secretary of state, because the right hon. gentleman who had given notice of it seemed ashamed of it: he had in fact abandoned it, by postponing it sine die. [No, no! from the Opposition.] He had certainly put it off to a distant date, because he felt that he had no case to make out. When he stated those proposed savings to be no more than 4 or 5,000l., he did not mean to undervalue such a saving in a time of distress like the present; but he thought that saving would be a detriment rather than a benefit to the country, since it would tend to throw office into less enlightened hands than the present. The hon. baronet had strengthened his speech with an able argument drawn from the report of a former committee. That recommendation was certainly strong, but it would have had more weight if it had been more distinct and precise. Since that report there had been different administrations, in one of which lord St. Vincent had been at the head of the admiralty, yet that noble lord had never started a notion that he could conduct the affairs of the navy without these offices which it was now sought to abolish. He could not find in the principle of that administration, nor of any other administration, that it had ever been understood that the board of admiralty should consist solely of professional men. In his conscience he believed, that nothing was more likely to do mischief to the public service, than that the navy should be solely in the service of naval men. As to any individual against whom this motion might be aimed, he should not enter into any particular defence, but was prepared to say, that a few offices should exist in which young men of high rank in life might find a motive for studying the constitution of their country. [A laugh]. Few men could be statesmen at once: they must learn through the gradations of inferior offices to manage the high departments of the state. It was true, that there had been some instances of men attaining the height of public life at once. Mr. Pitt had started at once into that distinguished situation, which be continued to fill during his life: but there had been other great men, perhaps, of 661 not inferior talent to Mr. Pitt, who had risen by slow gradations to the highest ranks, Mr. Fox had not thought it inconsistent with his character or talents to take his seat as a member of the much derided board, though he had not the slightest professional knowledge of the navy; nor was he the only illustrious man who had begun by filling this minor office. Sir Robert Walpole, and others, had first come to the notice of parliament and of their sovereign through this very office. He would contend, then, that if the circle of offices was to be narrowed or abolished, serious mischief would accrue to the constitution; for one great source, the education of statesmen, would be cut off. Perhaps there was some objection to a particular individual; but on the supposition that the conduct of a person appointed to an office was open to observation, did it follow that the office itself should be abolished? He could not consent to such a proposition, unless he thought it useful to the general welfare. He never understood that the noble lord on the opposite bench (lord Althorpe) had thought himself unfit to take a seat at the navy board, though not a professional man; and lord Spencer, he believed, had put quite as much confidence in lay lords of the admiralty as any other administration.—Having thus protested against the principle of the motion, he came to the business part of the question. He did not find that it had been proved, that the numbers were too great during the war; and though he was willing to allow a distinction between peace and war, yet he denied that it would be a fair argument to say, that because the number of ships in commission was less in time of peace than in war, that therefore the duties of the admiralty were less arduous. During war, they were forced to neglect many of the details respecting the dock yards, which, however, were of the highest importance, and occupied their attention in peace quite as much as the attention of such persons could be expected to be occupied. [A laugh.] Did the hon. gentleman mean to say, that persons in these situations should have no relaxation, no abstinence from the fatigues of business? He must contend that it was very useful that the admiralty board should be so constituted as at the same time to sit in London, and to send out a competent commission to act at the outports. He apprehended that gentlemen would see 662 that great delay would be saved to the public business, by thus preventing the necessity of that sort of communication which must be kept up between the board and any common agents, before any thing could be transacted—As to the general argument used by the hon. baronet, he was ready to admit that the House had a claim on ministers for such economy as was safe and consistent with their duty. He knew the gentlemen on the other side viewed all the acts of ministers with distrust; that they were not content merely with being severe critics of the past, but were gloomy prophets for the future. In the present case, he must protest against their criticism and their prophecy; he must protest against any argument drawn from the conduct of ministers during the last session; nor was it fair to state that ministers had seen occasion to reverse their own determinations. The army estimates had been alluded to, as if the government had been compelled to alter its first resolutions: but the fact was, that the number of men was the same as had been calculated upon; and no changes had taken place except in the staff, and in some minor details which had been alwa3's contemplated. He trusted, therefore, that the House would believe in the sincerity of his majesty's government. On looking at the scale of public expenditure, his majesty's ministers had found the means of bringing it 700,000l. below what the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Tierney) with all his financial knowledge and experience, had assumed it practicable to effect. Great jealousy had been expressed with respect to the operations of the committee, and considerable prejudice existed as to the sincerity of ministers; but he wished his majesty's government to be tried by their general conduct during the session, and he hoped the committee would continue their inquiries, to see what retrenchments could be made without injury to the public service. He appealed to the members of that committee, more particularly to those who were considered as divided from ministers, and who had been either nominated or approved by the other side of the House, whether they had not found in ministers a disposition to promote the general wishes of the country. Considerable progress had already been made in the reduction of useless offices, and it was no less the desire of ministers than it was the duty of the committee, to see that 663 none but efficient officers should be placed in situations of emolument. With regard to sinecures, there was not a single office that had not undergone revision; and, indeed, every office of this kind, where the profits went far beyond what was to be considered as a fair reward for public services, had been long given up. The only remaining office in England had been considerably reduced by the spontaneous and generous conduct of the individual who held it. He trusted, therefore, that nothing which the hon. baronet had said, would raise a prejudice in the public mind against the determination of the crown to reduce the offices to the lowest possible scale.—As to the particular offices of that night's discussion, they were not more extensive than the public good required; and the House would cripple the board of admiralty, if they deprived them of the means of detaching a board to the outports. Taking the whole constitution of the board, from the Revolution down to the present day, there was no case made out against the existing administration of that board. Much had been urged, on this and other occasions, respecting the influence of the crown; but it was impossible for the hon. gentleman opposite to show that the influence of the crown had increased of late years. He contended, that there was no ground whatever for such an assertion; for if we compared the number of persons in that House holding offices with those of any former period of our history, we should find, that the House never contained so small a number of persons holding places as at present. If we referred back to the close of the American war, the number was much greater, though we had now an increase of 100 members for Ireland, of whom, however, only six held offices under the crown. In former times, promotions in the army and navy were made the sources of direct influence in the hands of members; but he put it to the House, whether the same ground of promotion now existed, and whether any of them could go to the Admiralty, or to the Horse-guards, and ask for favours under the pretence of influence? He would put it to the fair feelings of every hon. member, whether the young soldiers who had distinguished themselves in the late glorious campaigns could trace their advancement to politics? But this was not the case in former periods, when the influence of the House was directed to these 664 objects. The influence of the House, he repeated, had been numerically decreased within those walls, and he saw no reason for driving from the House those few individuals within it who held offices. Many of them were usefully employed in committees and other modes, in which their practical experience was absolutely necessary; and, therefore, the public service would be considerably injured if they were not suffered to retain their seats. Upon these grounds, then, and considering that the reduction of the officers of the admiralty would be detrimental to the interests of the nation, he felt it his duty to move the previous question.
§ Lord Althorp
thought it proper, in consequence of a motion which he made last session, not to give a silent vote on this occasion; but it would not be necessary for him to detain the House long, as the speech of his hon. friend was so clear, so sensible, and so striking, and the answer of the noble lord so imperfect and unsatisfactory. It appeared to him, that whether there was to be a reduction in other offices or not was of little importance, provided it could be proved that a reduction might be made in the board of admiralty without injury to the public service. As to what the noble lord had said with respect to preparatory situations and a relaxation of duty, he most, perfectly agreed, that persons coming forward to the higher offices of the state, should be gradually introduced; but if seven lords of the admiralty could do the whole duty in time of war, it was not necessary to retain so many now, when the business was so greatly reduced. With regard to the outports, it was almost a useless branch in time of peace; and as far as concerned the necessity of two boards, it was very well known, that, as the board of admiralty was now constituted, questions were seldom put so as to come to a majority, the business of the board being generally considered to belong to the first lord. On the subject of sinecures, he thought that public services would be better rewarded by giving a pension than by creating a sinecure. The noble lord had referred to the influence of the crown, and as far as he was aware, the noble lord was justified in what he had stated respecting the promotion of the army and navy; but he had entirely left out the enormous increase of influence by the collection of the revenue. With regard 665 to the other reductions to which the noble lord had alluded, he trusted that they would be speedily confirmed; but considering that seven lords of the admiralty were more than the public services required in times of peace, and more especially in times of general distress like the present, he should certainly support the motion.
said, he did not think the question was one which ought to be decided abstractedly upon its own merits. The proposition of the hon. baronet was to considered as the ground work of a general system of reduction, and as such the House should consider it. They should recollect, that it was not merely the two officers of the admiralty, but the destruction of every office under government, which eloquence or ingenuity could represent as useless, that was aimed at. Let them, therefore, when the body of the place was attacked, beware how they gave up one single out-post. Let them not forget, that if they surrendered one out-work, they must weaken the defence of the whole— [Hear, hear!] Let them not imitate the weakest of the Roman-emperors, who, when they surrendered one province after another, said, "We can do without silks, we can do without spices," forgetting, however, that every foot of ground they abandoned must lead to the destruction of their empire. Let us not, therefore, imagine that we can do without two lords of the admiralty, lest the same fatal consequences should attend us. If we did this, we abandoned the principle on which our whole empire rested. On this breach we must take our stand; here we must fight the enemy. It was not so much for the advantage of ministers as for the interest of the country that he would wish these offices to be retained. Ministers, he thought, were by no means overpaid for the labours of their office; and if they did not find in the places now to be abolished some gratification for the dreadful responsibility and uneasiness to which they were subject, a responsibility and uneasiness under which the firmest minds had sometimes been broken down, no opposition would be desirous of taking possession of the offices of government. Would the House be willing to diminish the present influence of the crown? Would they again reduce it to that state of anarchy in which it was no longer able to maintain itself against a factious opposition? Considering that 666 violent changes were abroad, and that the most wild and wicked doctrines were preached by those who undermined where they could not attack, and desolated where they could not enjoy, he could not consent to strike out of the hand of the crown the only remaining weapon by which it could defend itself. He should therefore vote for the previous question.
§ Mr. Warre
said, that no difference of opinion could be greater than that which he felt, and that which the hon. member who had just sat down had expressed. The hon. member had spoken very eloquently about breaches and outworks; but he greatly doubted whether ministers would be thankful for the hon. member's alliance on this occasion. He did not believe that they meant to abandon a single post, but he questioned whether they would thank the hon. gentleman for his fair and candid avowal of the military position they assumed. The noble lord had said, that a blow was levelled against one office only; but if the motion had been framed so as to include other offices, such as the commissioners of stamps, the commissioners of excise, or the postmasters, then the answer would have been, "Disentangle your question, and bring each of those offices separately before us." To urge an objection against a motion because it was clear, simple, and tangible, was certainly a novelty in that House. He was greatly surprised that the noble lord should resort to a course of recrimination, since he had found it avail him so little during the last session. He cared not what was done in former days: if former administrations had done wrong, it now became the House to do right. What was done years before bore so little on the question, that he thought they would not allow it to influence their decision. All the episodes of the noble lord were superfluous to the question. Of the lords of the admiralty, three of the sea, and one of the land lords, were efficient officers; but the other two offices were complete sinecures. As to the three officers who were to form a quorum at the out-ports, he supposed the noble lord thought that two would quarrel in a post-chaise, and want a third to settle the business. He was decidedly of opinion that the whole of these officers were unnecessary to the public service, and should therefore give his most cordial support to the motion.
The Hon. J. W. Ward
said, he would 667 not shrink from asserting and defending the opinions he entertained upon this question. The other side of the House seemed to think that economy at all hazards ought to be practised; forgetting that though reduction and retrenchment might be good things in themselves, yet all reductions and all retrenchments were not expedient: they were for taking from the sovereign all his influence, and were not only anxious to strip off useless and expensive embroidery, but to deprive him even of decent and necessary apparel. He could not consent to lend his aid to the corps of political riflemen recently embodied, which was employed in picking off place after place, however important or serviceable, which attacked today the admiralty, to-morrow the stamp-office, and the next day the post-office, and which, on the principle of such irregular troops, showed no mercy, and granted no quarter. Had gentlemen forgotten that a committee of retrenchment was now sitting? Did they not recollect that motions like the present could only obstruct its labours? It was true that they had refused their confidence to that committee, because it was not formed merely of the immaculate uninfluenced members who sat on the other side of the House; but was it respectful to it, or to the House, in this way to press forward motion after motion? The conduct of hon. gentlemen on the other side on this occasion might be consistent with their conduct in general, but was it consistent with the vote of the majority of the House, which had given its confidence to that committee, though not formed according to some members notions of ideal excellence. Had he been chosen one of that body, he should have begged to have been allowed to withdraw his name, convinced that, however assiduous and anxious to discharge its duties, the committee could never hope to keep pace with the rapid and sweeping abolitions recommended from the other side of the House. The examinations of persons, papers, and records by a committee, were idle and ridiculous if this system were continued. The whole House was not now the proper place where the subject was to be considered; it had delegated its authority to a number of its members, and whether the motion of to-night had been of a more sweeping nature, or directed against only one department, it was equally objectionable. He could not en- 668 tirely concur in what had been said by his noble friend (lord Castlereagh) upon the important subject of the influence of the crown: notwithstanding all the reductions that had been recently made, it was still very great, if indeed it were not too extensive; but did it follow at all, that this particular office was to be abolished. The naval establishment of the country was, undoubtedly, at present very inconsiderable, though the military departments had been kept up: but had it been shown in any way, that, because the latter might be reduced in some unimportant respects, it was fit to put an end to two political offices of the highest i consequence. The noble lord had truly said, that they were valuable as convenient introductions of young men to business: by means of these two places of lords of the admiralty, useful experiments might be made upon the capacities and dispositions of young men. It was expedient, besides, to preserve them as inducements to individuals to devote their talents and industry to the service of their country; for as long as human nature continued what it was, such means would be required to stimulate exertion. The diminution of secondary offices would also be injurious, as lessening the competition among men who might become ornaments of the state: the number of persons who would be willing to contribute their services for a proportionate reward would be reduced, and the consequence would be, that all places would fall into the hands of an oligarchy, of all others the most odious—an oligarchy of wealth.
commenced by referring to the proceedings of the committee over which he had presided. It had, he said, been his anxious wish to have established there some distinct rule and general principle by which officers should be judged; in that attempt, however, he had been strenuously resisted by the noble lord opposite, who had contended, that it would be much wiser to examine each place separately, to suggest certain abolitions, and if others were proposed by the antagonists of ministers, to discuss them seriatim. The argument of the noble lord to night had shown that what he held to be fit up stairs, he considered most inexpedient down stairs; and, without much regard to consistency, he now turned round to oppose what he had before recommended. The House came to the consideration of this subject under the most favourable cir- 669 cumstances; for, not only were the general arguments decidedly in favour of the proposition of the hon. baronet, but the question seemed to be decided by the report of a committee made nearly twenty years ago, of which the Speaker had so ably discharged the duties of chairman, and which was composed of men of known integrity and prudence: the names of lord Harrowby and Mr. Henry Thornton were sufficient to secure it from the charge of injudicious precipitation. That committee had possessed all possible information, and it had determined against the continuance of six lords of the admiralty in time of peace. It was true that nothing had then been said of ambulatory lords, a sort of board of admiralty in Eyre, much talked of to night, and to very little purpose. The broad and better ground of resistance to the motion was, that these offices formed a part of the justifiable influence of the crown, and that young men were, by the hope of this reward, induced to devote their labours to the public service; yet this argument was most indefinite, and under this pretence of a nursery for statesmen, the power of the sovereign might be augmented to a most injurious extent. He admitted, that it was essential that persons in high official stations should occupy seats in parliament, and he ridiculed the absurd notions of inconsiderate and uninstructed reformers, who termed this practice an abuse of the constitution. It was fit, however, that some limit should be assigned: in his opinion that limit was the duty discharged by the individual, since no parliamentary office ought to be preserved merely because it suited the purpose of the minister. The bill he (Mr. Bankes) had introduced did not indeed include the places in debate, but his measure was calculated for a state of war, and he could not therefore be charged with inconsistency. One hon. gentleman had vehemently insisted, that this outwork ought never to be abandoned to the enemies of royal influence; but he would advise him, if he endeavoured to defend every post, however, insignificant, to take care that he had a sufficient garrison for such an extensive fortress; while he was protecting an out work, the enemy might make himself master of the citadel. The table was loaded with petitions, which, though idly praying for annual parliaments and universal suffrage, at least deserved attention when they required retrenchment; and he called upon all mem-*670 bers, who had presented them, to join in a vote in support of a motion for the abolition of two offices which were a useless burthen upon the public.
§ Mr. Huskisson
contended, that the proceedings of the committee should not be the same as those of parliament. The recommendation to abolish should come from the former, and the execution of the measure from the latter. If the offices pointed out in the motion were destroyed, the board of admiralty would be left in a crippled state, and incapable of any vigorous exertion.
§ Mr. Croker
stated that he had examined with care the naval estimates since 1685, and that, with the exception of the year 1691, in which probably, on account of death, the number of the lords had been reduced to six, the first article of those estimates had regularly been seven lords of the admiralty at 1,000l. a year each. So that the office now marked out for abolition, was one voted by our ancestors for 132 years without either intermission or any alteration in number or salary.
§ Sir C. Pole
contended, that the board of admiralty ought to consist of naval persons, and that the salary of its members had at times varied from 1,000l. to 770l. a year. Since Mr. Burchett's time, in 1689, to the present, there had been no person appointed to be chief secretary who had no knowledge of the neighbouring seas.
rose and said:
Mr. Speaker;—Notwithstandingthelate-ness of the hour to which the debate has been protracted, I feel myself compelled to trespass for a short time on the attention of the House. I might indeed safely and confidently rest the merits of the argument upon the speeches already delivered, and particularly upon that of my hon. friend who sits near me (Mr. Ward): but, after the menace of unpopularity which has been thrown out against those who may oppose the motion of the hon. baronet, I should hold myself guilty of a base dereliction of duty, if I were to shrink from an explicit declaration of my sentiments.
Insignificant as the question of to night is in itself, it acquires an importance which does not belong to the immediate subject of it, from the circumstances under which it is brought forward,— from the topics with which it has been associated,—from the consequences, of more 671 sorts than one, to which (if successful) it must inevitably lead. Considered as a single and unconnected question, its importance has in truth been ridiculously exaggerated. I cannot conceive propositions more nearly indifferent, than— whether an official board should originally have been composed of five, or of six, or of seven, or of nine members; or whether a sum of one or two thousand pounds (subject to sundry taxes and deductions) should be withdrawn from the payment of official salaries, to be applied to the temporary exigencies of the state. But this, Sir, is not my view of the present question: it is not the view of those who bring it forward. The motion of the hon. baronet is avowedly the first of a series of attacks upon that established system of political office by which the administration of the government of this country is practically carried on; and by which it has been carried on for upwards of a century,—that is, during the period of our history when our laws and liberties have been best guarded, as well as best understood.
The reduction of the number of such offices may undoubtedly form a fair subject for discussion: but, to discuss it fairly, the system must be viewed as a whole. It is not by picking out details, and by putting this or that office separately upon its trial, that the expediency of a parliamentary administration of the government can be usefully considered, or that the number of holders of office, which may be properly and conveniently allowed to sit in the House of Commons, can be justly ascertained.
As a matter of economy, the possible saving upon the two offices in question is by general admission too inconsiderable to be taken into account: no man has gravely insisted upon it in this debate. It has been argued, indeed, that saving, as saving, is good in itself,—good in principle without reference to amount; and it has been contended, that to this sort of saving, among others, we are pledged by our address in answer to the speech from the throne. But I must be permitted to remind the House,—and I appeal to the general sense and recollection of all who now hear me,—that this was not the class of office specifically in the contemplation of those who voted for the address, and for the appointment of the committee which grew out of his Royal Highness's recommendation. The reduction specifically in 672 contemplation was unquestionably in those offices which are called sinecures.
In saying this, I do not mean to say that the House, either by the address or by the appointment of that committee, is precluded from carrying reduction beyond those particular offices: but I think it material for the House to bear in mind, that the attention of the government and of the committee has been immediately directed to that peculiar species of reduction which had been most earnestly called for by the public: that this motion therefore was not necessary to quicken either the ministers or the members of the committee in the discharge of their duty; and that the suggestion of to-night is not (as is pretended) in furtherance of an admitted course of policy, but in recommendation of a policy which, so far from having been admitted, is now brought before us for discussion for the first time. The new policy may be right or wrong in itself (that is matter of argument); but it must be examined and decided on its own separate merits.
The labours of the committee are, as is well known, active and unremitted: and the fruits of those labours have been neither small nor slow in growth. In one short week they are understood to have resolved on the abolition of all those great sinecures offices (those of the exchequer, I mean) which have long been held out to public view as the great blots and stains in the official appointments of the state. I will not here examine whether it is a just or unjust view that has been taken of these offices. Undoubtedly, I think there is much of unfair prejudice, much of misapprehension and misrepresentation in the attacks which have been made upon them. Undoubtedly, I think they could not be abolished without the substitution of something in their room. It may, however, be true, that being (whether justily or unjustly) degraded in the public estimation, they have ceased to be the most fit rewards of honourable public service, and have thus lost the charm by which their nominal existence was prolonged.
My own sentiments on this subject are indeed, already recorded. The House may possibly recollect that I have twice voted for a bill of an hon. friend of mine (Mr. Bankes), which went to abolish sinecures on an extensive scale; substituting for the abolished offices other means, to be placed at the disposal of the 673 crown for the reward of public service. The details of that bill (for I believe it was the same bill which passed this House in the two successive years 1812 and 1813), my hon. friend may remember, I thought in many particulars faulty and ill-digested. I would willingly have had these errors mended, if I could have prevailed upon my hon. friend to concur in the alterations which were proposed: — nevertheless, approving of the principle of the measure, I voted for it with all its imperfections on its head. To a bill of the same kind I am now ready, in common with my colleagues, to lend my cordial support, and—if my hon. friend will now accept such aid—to assist him in moulding and shaping his measure, in such manner as may best tend to ensure its ultimate success.
Let me not, however, be supposed visionary enough to imagine, that such a concession, although involving nine-tenths of all that is professedly demanded, will satisfy those who clamour most loudly for retrenchment and reform, and who inflame the imaginations of the multitude with the expectation of impossible relief. Their purpose is not to amend what is really amiss in our establishments, but by cavilling alike at every thing that exists in them, and at every proposition for amendment, to feed and keep alive the discontentment of the times, and (if they can) to ripen it into disaffection. It would be vain to look for any other effect from this concession upon such men, than that their complaints and remonstrances may perhaps be transferred from the point conceded to some other on which concession is utterly impracticable.
What is the main grievance of which the clamourers of our day have been complaining? — Sinecures. Against which branch of the constitution have their clamours been directed?—Against the House of Commons Would it not then naturally be supposed, by any person ignorant of what had been passing during the last few years, that the crown had recommended the abolition of sinecures, and that this House had disregarded the recommendation? or that the House of Lords had passed some resolutions to that effect, which the House of Commons had refused to adopt? —But what are the facts; Why that the House of Commons has twice abolished sinecures, so far as its decision could abolish them; and that this decision of the House of Commons has twice been frustrated by the House of Peers!
674 Such are the grounds upon which these epuitable dispensers of public favour heap obloquy upon the House of Commons, whilst the House of Peers stands blameless in their estimation. But fond indeed would be the fatuity which should imagine that there was any more of sincerity in their approbation than there is of justice in their censure. The House of Peers is unblamed only because its time is not yet come; the House of Commons is vilified because these men are wise enough in their generation to know that this House alone stands between them and the ruin which they meditate;—that, the House of Commons once destroyed, the road lies open, without impediment, to the overthrow of the Peers and of the Crown.
On every such matter, therefore, as is this night propounded for our deliberation, our judgment should be guided not by the loudness of the demand, but by the propriety and expediency of the thing required. Clamour is not a reason for refusing what it may be right to grant;— but let no man flatter himself that clamour is to be appeased by granting what it would be right to refuse.
I must be permitted, Sir, to deal with the hon. baronet's motion, not as a single and insulated proposition, but in connexion with others of which it is obviously, and, I think, avowedly, the forerunner. In any other view I must take the liberty to say, that the committee and not this House, would be the proper place for entertaining it. I do not mean to dispute the right of any hon. gentleman to bring forward any specific proposition that may strike his fancy; but it is for the House to decide, whether, after having appointed a Committee systematically to examine our establishments with a view to all practicable reduction, it is either regular or expedient to take particular parcels of the assigned work out of their hands, and, day after day to debate them separately in this House; thus resuming in detail the power which has been delegated in the aggregate.
My hon. friend opposite (Mr. Bankes) has mistaken the nature of the objections to this practice which have been stated by my noble friend near me;—or at least he has not (as it appears tome) satisfactorily answered those objections by asserting, that in the committee up stairs my noble friend has himself proposed to proceed on the same plan. My noble friend it seems objects in the committee to the laying 675 down of those general principles which he requires to be laid down in the House. To be sure he does,—and where is the in-consistency of doing so? Is not the House the place where general principles ought to be proposed and considered? and is it not peculiarly the province of a committee to regulate the application of those principles, and to discuss the details which their adoption may involve? This proceeding of my noble friend's is not only perfectly consistent in itself, but exactly conformable to parliamentary rule. Not so the course adopted by my hon. friend, who insists on laying down general propositions in the committee, and on examining the details in the House,—thus inverting the order of parliamentary proceedings, and interchanging the natural and proper functions of the committee and the House.
One word, and only one word, more upon this part of the subject. It appears to be one purpose of this day's motion, to throw discredit upon the committee; — and the consideration that such would be the effect of carrying the motion, is one sufficient reason with me, and I should hope with the House for resisting it.— Give the committee fair play, and I am convinced that its labours will redeem it in the eyes of the country from the gross aspersions and misrepresentations with which it has been assailed from the hour of its creation.
To come now, Sir, to the question immediately before us;—I have already declared that in my way of viewing it, the expediency or inexpediency of abolishing or preserving one or two lay lordships of the admiralty is not the point really at issue: but I will not altogether omit to notice the arguments which have been applied to this point by the hon. mover, and by those who have supported him.
In doing this, I shall not attempt to go back with the hon. mover to the early and obscure times of the infancy of our naval administration: it is sufficient for all practical purposes that the present system is as old as our present mode of administering the government, dating that mode from its establishment at the revolution. Since that time the board of admiralty has been formed on its present scale; and parliament, in every succeeding year of that period, has confirmed by its vote the number of the members of the board, as existing at the present day. For there is this peculiarity belonging to these offices, 676 that they have not continued to exist from want of the cognizance and observation of parliament,—as is the case with offices which do not require parliamentary sanction for their continuance. These offices are voted yearly in the naval estimates: and the blot, therefore, if it be one, has been missed every year, for upwards of a century.
The hon. baronet I know has stated that the number of lordships of the admiralty has occasionally varied. He has quoted some instances in which the board appears not to have been full. But I assure him that he is misled by those printed authorities (and I think I know what they are), which induce him to suppose that there has been any such variation. And though I do not hold practice and precedent to be altogether conclusive when sound reasons are assigned for change, yet they do constitute (and the hon. baronet has confessed, by his anxiety to disprove them, that they do, in his opinion, constitute) a primâ facie case in favour of any establishment or usage;—especially when they are the practice and precedent of good times. The onus of showing a valid cause for departing from them, rests upon those who propose the innovation.
Not only has the number of commissioners remained invariable from 1688 to the present day, but the composition of the board has always admitted a proportion (not uniformly the same,—but a proportion) of lay members, mixed with those of professional habits and experience. I know, Sir, that the advantage of this mixed constitution has long been a mooted question, and that advocates have been found even for each of the exclusive extremes of all sea lords, and all lay lords; but more frequently for that of all sea lords. The hon. and gallant admiral who spoke last is amongst the advocates for the latter plan; but, without meaning any disrespect to the gallant, officer, I must confess that I do not consider his as altogether an unprejudiced opinion. His prejudices in favour of the profession of which he is himself so distinguished a member naturally influence his judgment. Even he will, I am sure, agree with me that the weight of authorities preponderates in favour of the present practice; and I confess I am myself strongly persuaded that the present practice is the best. The hon. and gallant admiral is also one of those who think that the number of the board might be reduced; but I entreat the 677 House to observe, that, with all his zeal for retrenchment, he does not think that the public service could spare, without detriment, more than one of the present number; thus going but half way with the hon. mover, and curtailing of half its efficacy, a proposition not very effective in itself for any beneficial purpose either of constitutional reform or of economical retrenchment.
Sir, without conceding any part of the argument founded upon long usage, in favour of the present number and composition of the board, as best adapted to the due execution of the business of the admiralty,—I must, after all, honestly confess, that this is not the consideration which weighs with me in my estimate of the question that we have to decide. I consider the motion of to-night as the punctumsaliens of successive and sweeping confiscations of efficient office. Such a change may, or may not, be just, or wise, or necessary; but the expediency of it, if made out at all, is to be made out by far other reasoning than any that we have heard tonight; by reasoning systematically applied to the whole system and scale of parliamentary office, not to the miserable economizing of one or two thousand pounds, or to the dismissal of two, or (according to the hon. admiral) of one single individual.
If, Sir, his majesty's ministers could take so narrow a view of this question, as to be influenced by any calculations of their own immediate interest, then undoubtedly they would at once withdraw all opposition to the hon. baronet's motion. Every temptation of personal ease and public favour lies that way. The trifling sacrifice of direct official strength or influence which the proposed reduction involves, would, in the present state and temper of the country, be repaid to them tenfold in an accession of temporary popularity.
Nay, Sir, had we been disposed to indulge that species of malignity which delights in catching an adversary in his own trap, we should at once not only have assented to the present proposition, but should have hastened to take the lead of the hon. gentlemen opposite in the whole train of their projected reductions, and to out-bid them by the suggestion of others still more comprehensive. For, situated as we happen to be, the loss would really be unfelt by us in carrying on an established administration: but far different would be its consequences to those who look to succeed to our situations. When they 678 had routed aad driven us from the field,— when the happy hour had arrived for distributing their spoil and satisfying the claims of their numerous and expectant followers,—they would find, that without these offices which they are now assailing, and other offices such as these, a new administration could not be formed with strength enough to carry on the ordinary business of this House for a single day. I protest, Sir, that even on this account I am,—most disinterestedly,—hostile to the present motion, or rather to the projects of which it is the sample and the harbinger. If I think that the crown ought to have the means of forming and sustaining an administration, I do not the less think that it ought to have the means of changing one: and I am well persuaded, that, if we swept away these political and parliamentary offices, changes of administration could not only not be so easily effected, but could not be effected at all without material detriment —certainly not without most inconvenient interruption— to the business of the state.
I know, Sir, that we are told in pamphlets, and in speeches both within and without these walls, that not the smallest influence of the Crown in this House ought to be tolerated, because it is not recognized in any theoretical scheme of the constitution. But I maintain,—and in doing so I only speak what every man feels and knows, nay, avows, whenever the purpose of the moment does not require the denial of it,—that, in practice, the government of this country could not be carried on without some proportion of such influence. The amount of it, I am far from denying, is matter of fair constitutional jealousy.
Suppose the theory—such as it is contended for—carried to its full extent;— suppose a complete separation between the ministers of the Crown and the members of the House of Commons;—the result would assuredly be an endless struggle between this House and the Crown. I may be told, perhaps that few persons are in fact so much misled by an uncalculating attachment to abstract theory as to desire that complete separation. Even my hon. friend over the way (Mr. Bankes), jealous as he is of a preponderating influence in the Crown, allows that the persons holding the highest offices of state ought to have seats in parliament. But while my hon. friend admits this principle, he, in a great degree, nullifies his admission by the limits which he would prescribe to its operation. Is it to 679 be believed that half a dozen insulated ministers could withstand the assaults of that numerous body always to be found within these walls,—the systematic opposers, the designated successors, of any existing administration,—deprived, as those ministers would be of the aid and comfort of the official knowledge and practical experience of gentlemen filling the secondary offices of the state?
Suppose then, I say, that the Crown were to take the theorists at their word, — and rejecting my hon. friend's kind but utterly useless concession in favour of the ministers themselves, were to determine to carry its self-denial still farther, and not to suffer any of its servants to sit in either House of parliament: in other words,—were to select its ministers from amongst men not having seats in either of the two Houses of parliament. Suppose, we were to find, at the beginning of a new session, that the Crown, thus impatient of the imputation or suspicion of influence, had appointed—for its first lord of the treasury —for its chancellor of the exchequer— and for its secretaries of state — gentlemen of perfectly unexceptionable character, if you please, but wholly unknown to the nation; and that out of extreme reverence for the purity of parliament, none of these gentlemen possessed, or would accept, seats as members of the legislature. —There would be nothing in this arrangement contrary to the theoretical constitution,—nay, it would be exactly conformable to that construction of it which has been of late so loudly claimed as the right of the people of England, and towards the practical adoption of which the motion of this evening tends. It would be only pushing to excess the principle of jealousy in which this motion is founded. But will any man say, that, if such an arrangement were adopted, the practice of the constitution would not be at an end? —Would not a facility be given for arbitrary selection, and unfit appointments, over which this House has always watched with peculiar jealousy? Would not a road be opened to court favour, which the parliamentary administration of the government is particularly calculated to close i—Would not office and parliament be equally degraded by a choice which separated their functions?—And would not this separation infallibly lead to incessant jealousies, collisions, and conflicts?
It is no reply to this argument to say, that it does push the hypothesis to an ex- 680 treme. I admit that it does so. But, if that be objectionable, it is objectionable only on this ground—that some mixture of official men in the Houses of parliament is allowed to be highly expedient (if not absolutely necessary) in practice;—although the letter of the constitution is silent as to that practice, and although the theory of the constitution is asserted to be adverse to it. If some there must be, the controversy is reduced from a question of principle to one of degree; and this reduction cuts off at once as altogether idle and irrelevant those general declamations against the influence of the Crown in parliament, which constitute all the eloquence, and almost all the argument, that have been employed on this and similar subjects of debate. Once admit that some official men must sit in parliament—and away at once with all those brilliant and animating generalities which denounce as corruption the very name of influence, and demand its radical extirpation as indispensable to the well-being of the state! All such fine flights are by this single admission commuted for the much tamer task of measuring the quantum of that influence which it may be safe and convenient to allow. The controversy once brought to that issue, I am confident I can show that there never was a period in our history when the quantum of influence was so low as it is at the present hour.
Sir, the theoretical principles and the practical operation of the British constitution are necessarily to be taken into view together, as explaining and modifying each other. The separate provinces of its several powers are easily described in theory: but it is not so easy to describe their actual workings, to trace the play of all the parts, and to delineate not only the structure of the mechanism, but its complicated movement and operation. The theory modified by the practice, forms in reality the constitution under which, we live. The prerogative of the Crown, the high functions and authorities of the House of Lords, and the rights and privileges of the House of Commons, are capable of strict definition. But, when the definition is given strictly, the wonder is how the government goes on. With such a system of checks and balances,—of opposite tendencies counteracting each other, —it should seem that if each were to exert its specific power to the utmost, the whole machine must stand still. Accord- 681 ing to the theory of the constitution, the Commons and the Crown are armed against each other,—the Commons with the right of granting or withholding the supplies, the Crown with that of interposing its veto. In practice, how often have the supplies been stopped?—how often or how lately has the veto been interposed? —The fact is, that the consciousness in in each, of the other's power, operates reciprocally as a check upon both; and the march of the government proceeds unimpeded in a middle course, the result of contrary and combined impulses. The Crown, aware of the ultimate and irresistible strength of parliament, proposes nothing that can call for or justify the putting forth that strength into full action. But, for the purpose of counterbalancing this irresistible strength in parliament (or, to speak plainly, in the House of Commons), and for preserving its due weight in the constitution, what efficient force does the Crown possess?—What—but a certain degree of influence in parliament?
I am not saying—I am not bound to say, in arguing the question of to-day— whether this change, from prerogative to influence, from conflict to compromise, is for the better or for the worse. I state the fact as it exists; and I know of no advantage in stating it otherwise. I know of no advantage in shutting our eyes to what is evident, and notorious. As things now stand,—as they have stood since the revolution,—the effective monarchy of this country cannot be up holden without a just share of influence in parliament. I say "a just share,"—because I speak,— and I desire to be understood as speaking, —of that avowed, direct, legitimate influence, which arises from having, in this and the other House of parliament, a certain number of the political servants of the Crown;—or (which is the same proposition in other terms) from the Crown's choosing its political servants among the members of the two Houses of parliament.
The more or the less of this influence is unquestionably, as I have acknowledged, matter of fair inquiry: and it remains therefore to examine whether the Crown now possesses that influence in a greater proportion than formerly, or in a degree excessively too preponderant for the general interests of the state. Try this question by comparison. A reference to former times,—to what are considered as the brightest periods of the constitution,— will show that the direct influence of the 682 Crown in the House of Commons has, at every former period, been greater than it is at the present day: and the more remote the period, the larger the excess. Immediately after the revolution, the number of members of this House, holding offices under the Crown, was double, and frequently triple, the present number. During the Whig administration in the reign of George 2nd,—in sir Robert Walpole's time,—it appears, from authentic lists of divisions on great questions, that there were about eighty-five persons holding offices during pleasure under the Crown who had seats in the House of Commons. In the present House the number of persons holding such offices amounts to no more than about forty-five. In such a degree has the direct influence of the Crown actually decreased; but proportionally the decrease is infinitely greater. For be it remembered, the House of Commons, then consisted of one hundred members fewer than since the Union with Ireland. Ireland had, till the year 1800, its separate parliament. The comparison is therefore to be instituted between the proportions of eighty-five placemen in a House of Commons of five hundred and fifty-eight members, for the government of Great Britain alone; and of forty-five in a House of six hundred and fifty-eight, for the government of the whole United Kingdom. If any such direct influence is to exist at all, surely no man will assert that the present proportion of that influence, as compared with the past, is one that requires diminution.
It is argued, however, that the influence of the Crown, though its direct operation may be diminished in this House, has an increased indirect operation. In answer to this argument, I repeat the opinion which I expreessed on a former night; meaning now, as I meant then, to speak of the influence of the Crown as operating within the walls of this House for the effective purposes of government.—Positively, no doubt, the influence of the Crown has increased, with the extent of our establishments — with the augmentation of our revenue: but only just as the nominal rental of every landed estate has positively increased within the last century, without augmenting, in a degree at all proportioned to its nominal increase, the effective power of the proprietor. Positively, the Crown may have more to bestow—as the proprietor of an estate may have more to receive, and to lay out—than formerly: but the 683 value and effect may in both cases be less. Power is not merely positive:—to form a true estimate of its efficacy, you must compare it with that by which it is opposed.
If I am told that the Crown has now double the number of offices, civil and military, at its disposal, which it had some time ago, I answer, that the power of the Crown is, in these latter times, controlled in the disposal of offices, by a degree of moral influence such as was never exercised over it before. It has been well and truly said, by my noble friend, that the army and the navy, large as these establishments have been, are far less available, as sources of patronage, than in times when their numbers were infinitely less; when—as is notorious—preferences were given, without scruple and without shame, on account of political opinions or connexions; when—as is notorious—a vote in this House given against an existing administration, would not only stop the preferment of the voter, but possibly strip ' him of his commission. What individual in our times has found his adverse politics Stand in the way of his preferment in the army or the navy?—In how many instances, that must be in every body's recollection, has the direct contrary been fairly to be inferred?—I answer then, that against the increase of patronage must be set off this mighty increase of the power of public opinion—a power which, since the Revolution, has grown from a pigmy to a giant,—a power which watches over, and governs, and controls, not only the actions, but the words, of every public man;— which, drawing its chief aliment from the publication of the debates in parliament, holds a warning terrror over every member who speaks in this House;—a power, under the influence of which I, Sir, now address you, knowing that to-morrow, whatever I now say, will be submitted to a thousand eyes, and criticised by a thousand tongues,—that every word I utter, even every accidental verbal inaccuracy, will be held up to public notice, perhaps perverted and misrepresented, and fixed upon me as a reproach for ever.
Is it possible to deny that such a power as I have described more than counter-balances the so much dreaded influence of patronage and favour?—Is it possible to suppose that any minister could venture, in times like these, to stand solely upon the favour of the Crown, and to rely solely upon its patronage for support,—independent of public opinion?
§684 It has been truly said, Sir, that "words are things;" and mere names are often found to be indicative of the bias of popular feeling. Forty or fifty years ago, a minister was habitually spoken of as the "servant of the Crown:" at present the "servants of the Crown" are, in common parlance, the "servants of the public." Trifling as this instance may seem, it is a genuine symptom of the ascendancy which the popular part of the constitution has been daily and hourly acquiring. This popular spirit does indeed pervade and vivify all our political institutions. But, on the other hand, to preserve the soundness and strength of the monarchy is not less essential to the conservation of our happily tempered form of government; and I cannot believe that any thinking man, who considers the signs of the times, will imagine that the danger of the present day is from such an inordinate growth of the monarchical branch of the constitution, as shall be likely to over-shadow and to blight the liberties of the people.
So much as to the influence of the Crown, — which forms one of the alleged grounds for demanding the abolition of two lordships of the admiralty. But it is not from this negative de fence alone that I would argue the expediency of preserving them.
The business of the country is transacted in this House; and by the practice, as has been shown, if not in the theory of the constitution, the character of a british statesman is compounded from the union of parliamentary and official duties. Foreigners often ask, "by what means an uninterrupted succession of men, qualified (more or less eminently) for the discharge of these united duties, is secured?" — First, I answer (with the prejudices perhaps of Eton and of Oxford), that we owe it to our system of public schools and universities. From these institutions is derived, (in the language of the prayer of our collegiate churches,) "a due supply of men, "fitted to serve their country, both in church and state." It is in her public schools and universities that the youth of England are, by a discipline which shallow judgments have sometimes attempted to undervalue, prepared for the duties of public life. There are rare and splendid exceptions, to be sure: but in my conscience, Sir, I believe that England would not be what she is without her system of public education; and that no other country can become what England is, without the advantages of such a system.
685 After education at the university comes that education at this House which is the fruit of a sedulous attendance upon the business of parliament; an attendance quickened by the ambition of one day sharing, or being thought qualified to share, in the administration of the government. To fit men for the duties of the higher departments of the government is one of the uses of such offices as those under discussion. I know, Sir, how obnoxious this part of my argument is to ridicule. I know too that here, as in the case of preparatory education, there are splendid but rare examples of men who have leapt at once to the highest pinnacle of official situation. Such men (if such there be among those whom I see opposite to me) can afford to strike the lower rounds out of the ladder of ambition. But exceptions are not rules: and, generally speaking, it is in such offices as these that young men are trained for higher stations. And how are they trained? By "signing their names?"—Idle sneer!— No. By learning (if nothing more) at least the habits and the punctuality of business; by associating with men of business —a description of society to which young men are not usually prone;—and by being induced, through motives and duties of more constant and certain operation than their mere duty as members of parliament, to give to this House much of that time which might otherwise be wasted in frivolous, and, it may be, not in harmless pursuits.
My hon. friend near me (Mr. Ward) has justly stated this argument as applying with peculiar force to men who, in the outset of life, hesitate between professional and political pursuits; but it is not applicable to them alone. I apply it also to those very cases which I know are thought to be the most untenable,—the cases of young men of ancient name and family, whom the temptations of rank and affluence might lead far out of the road of official labour; but who, by being brought into these offices—and being mixed in them with others of humbler fortunes, who have names to build for themselves, —continue, through a more advanced period of manhood, in that wholesome equality of intercourse which schools and universities have taught them: an equality which mainly contributes to maintain in the British constitution the animating and active vigour of a democracy, corrected and restrained but not subdued, by an 686 hereditary aristocracy and an hereditary Crown.
It may be true,—it unquestionably is true,—that many individuals pass through these offices as they had passed through the previous stages of education, without benefit or at least without renown. But it is also true that these offices have been the nursing-places of great ministers and statesmen: and if but one of any six lords of the Admiralty comes out of this initiatory course the better prepared to serve his country with advantage, I cannot but consider the cost of the whole six as wisely and economically incurred.
In all free countries a share in the administration of the state has been the object of liberal ambition. To discredit that object, is to discredit freedom itself. To discredit it among the noble and the powerful, is to deprive the state of its natural props and ornaments. To discredit it among those who have not these inherited advantages, is to restrict the Crown in the choice of its political servants, to the wealth and aristocracy of the country.
Even with all our present official institutions, which it is now wished to maim and to curtail, politics are perhaps the least alluring and advantageous pursuit of any of those to which a young man of talents and education can devote himself. The same ability, industry, and duration of service applied to other liberal pursuits, can hardly fail of meeting with more adequate and splendid remuneration. In the army, in time of war, the highest, ranks and honours are open to the young candidate. At the bar, wealth, dignity, and fame, are placed before him: and, although it may not perhaps be in the competence of many to attain, by their exertions, to the eminence of the hon. and learned gentleman opposite (sir S. Romilly); 3ret, at the bar, that moderate degree of success which even the least sanguine might venture to anticipate as the reward of unremitting study and assiduity, will afford means of earlier competence than is afforded by a life of secondary office, with all its chances and vicissitudes, to the average even of tolerably fortunate politicians.
Will the House then sacrifice a permanent and assured advantage to a temporary pressure, which that sacrifice could not in the smallest imaginable degree tend to relieve?—Will they, in obedience to the clamours of demagogues, destroy the 687 power of carrying on the government on the system which has, for more than a century, been found practically expedient and beneficial,—safe for our liberties, and conducive to our glory, by destroying those minor offices from which the wants of the state in its highest departments are constantly fed and supplied?—This is the true point for the decision of the House.
The interest of the present ministers in the question, I repeat it, is absolutely nothing,—except as their interest is inseparably connected with the public good. I have said that our personal ease would lead us to accede to the proposition; which I can sincerely declare that I oppose from a sense of duty alone. I have said that the acceding to this proposition and to those which are announced as intended to follow it, would really not disable us; but would, indeed, be unpropitious to the hopes of those who sit opposed to us. If it be with any such personal views that our opponents press these reductions, they act like the impatient expectants of a dilapidated inheritance. They would pull down the building to obtain possession of the ruins. Finding themselves unable to remove us from our pedestals, they are willing to blow-up a portion of the edifice with us into the air.
But, Sir, if it be possible that the real object of the motion is merely to turn us out, never certainly was such a compliment paid to any administration before!— Other administrations have been attacked for errors or misconduct of their own: we for institutions long ago established; institutions which no ministry has ever hitherto dreamt of reforming; of which our opponents as well as ourselves have, without scruple or remorse enjoyed the benefit; and which are now first attempted to be brought into disrepute after a quiet unquestioned usage of more than a hundred years.
Let it not, however, be supposed that we would defend these institutions merely because they are old,—if we were not firmly persuaded that it is our duty not to suffer the interest intrusted to us, on the part of the public no less than of the Crown, to perish or to be wasted in our hands.
Sir, I conclude therefore, as I began, with the declaration, that, unimportant as the particular question is in itself, I am deeply and sincerely impressed with the mischievousness of its tendency,—with the danger that would ensue from its success 688 (followed up as that success would be) to the whole frame of our practical government. And while I acknowledge, on the one hand, that there never was a point which (selfishly considered) it would have been more convenient for ministers to yield, I feel, on the other hand, so strong a conviction of the impropriety and inexpediency of yielding it, that,—rather than do so voluntarily,—I would, for my own part, be contented to stake the existence of the administration upon the result of their opposition to this motion.
§ Mr. Brougham
began by observing, that exhausted as he was by the debate of last night, and labouring under indisposition, nothing could have tempted him to rise upon the present occasion, but the security under which the right hon. gentleman had said he addressed the House, that every one had spoken who meant to speak, and that he should close the debate. Of this he had availed himself, to fly entirely away from the question; and in recalling the attention of the House to it, he (Mr. B.) should keep the promise which the right hon. gentleman had made of occupying only a small portion of their time. Upon almost any other occasion he should have been disposed to decline, as very much above his deserts, the compliment bestowed on him by the right hon. gentleman, that he stood in no need of prompting; but he must fairly own that at present he felt arrogant enough to accept of it, and to think that he required no assistance to answer the speech he had just heard beyond the speech itself, nor any prompter but the right hon. gentleman who made it. To what precise question he had addressed himself, or whose Arguments he had set himself to combat, might not easily be discovered; one thing was plain, he had avoided the question before the House and had answered none of the arguments maintained so triumphantly by the hon. baronet who opened the debate, and his hon. friend (Mr. Warre), who supported him with so much ability. The topics of the right hon. gentleman were wholly inapplicable to them; and the tone of his remarks and his declamation manifestly prepared for some speakers who had not borne a part (as perhaps was expected) in the discussion. What, for instance, could be more ridiculous than insinuating that the worthy baronet (sir M. W. Ridley) wished to attack the constitution under cover of this motion? Would any man say that such a charge could 689 have been originally intended to be levelled against that worthy baronet?
The right hon. gentleman had brought forward the exploits of the finance committee, as an answer to all that could be urged in favour of reform and retrenchment. "See," he had said, "how much this committee has accomplished, and be ashamed at having predicted its inefficiency." He too would say, "See exactly how much this wonder-working committee has done." It has, in fact, done nothing but what had been done ten years ago, and done twice over. It had stolen a leaf out of the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Bankes) book.—It had resolved to report against ten places which the former committee had not only recommended to be abolished, but obtained the concurrence of the House in putting down. At that time the House had twice resolved to abolish those places; twice passed bills for the purpose; and now we were told to be satisfied, because a new committee had come to a determination to recommend us to send up a third bill, to be a third time refused by the Lords. And this was to be a sufficient reason for the House putting all its functions in abeyance, and abstaining from lopping off the useless places now under consideration.
But those places, it was said, had always existed; and the right hon. gentleman denied the accuracy of his hon. friend's statement, that there were instances of only five or six lords in the commission. He still believed that statement in preference to the right hon. gentleman's, and he would tell the House why. The right hon. gentleman argues that there were always seven lords, because there were in all the estimates they had consulted votes of salaries for seven. Now it was well known, that all such sums are voted upon account; and though the money might be voted for seven, it no more followed that seven lords existed to receive it, than it did that so many thousand men and marines were employed because so much pay was voted for them. If he had produced a statement, from examining the commissions of the board at different times, it would have been another matter; but he ventured to affirm that such an inspection would support his hon. friend's assertion.
Much had been said by the right hon. gentleman about the necessity of having such useless places as a school for training young statesmen. It was not every man, 690 they were told, who could rise at once to the highest place like Mr. Pitt; and even his great antagonist, it was said, had begun, his career at the Board of Admiralty. For which of the two stations, of prime minister, or leader of opposition, they were now occupied in preparing the noble and gallant marquess (lord Worcester), had not been mentioned, or whether he was in training for the post of commander-in-chief: but to him it seemed rather an odd way of schooling statesmen, and breaking them in to the duties of difficult and laborious offices, to place them in a department where they had no duties at all to perform, and knew of no labour under the sun beyond that of signing once a quarter the receipt for their salaries. They were told of the advantages which resulted from inducing persons of illustrious rank and vast possessions to connect themselves with the service of the state. But what became of this benefit, if it was found that the connexion they were seduced into, was with the profits only of place, and not with the service? And how did it happen that we were tempting men of great wealth by the only thing which they might be supposed to have no occasion for—a thousand a year for nothing? The right hon. gentleman had been extremely jocose with an hon. and gallant friend of his (sir C. Pole) who expressed his opinion in favour of the sea lords. These personages were treated by the right hon. gentleman as ridiculous beings; he called them sea monsters—phocœmarinœ—and he knew not what. But he (Mr. B.) could not help fancying that there were in the world some animals of as amphibious a description as these—that there were sea-horses as well as sea-calves. At least a cornet of dragoons seemed to him quite as little fitted for the naval department as a sea-captain—the more especially if it should appear that the gallant officer of cavalry was with the army in France.
The plain truth was, that no man had ever ventured to deny the uselessness of the places in question; and, because of their inutility, of the expense they occasioned, and of the patronage they conferred, the country called aloud for their reduction. The House was now asked to comply with this reasonable prayer of the people; and the point for consideration was whether or not it would refuse. The right hon. gentleman, in a declamation, obviously intended to answer some speech which he might have expected, but 691 which as it happened had not been made, recommended as the best course the House could pursue, a struggle with and a victory over the country; and in much the same spirit an hon. gentleman (Mr. Law) had warned parliament that they were now making the last stand in the outworks of the constitution, and if they failed, the citadel would be carried. He (Mr. B.) too thought that they were making nearly their last stand: they who supported the motion were really defending the cause of regular government, disarming its worst enemies, and defeating the designs of those whose outcry was the loudest, but who were wholly without weight if the people did not back them. This was the sort of triumph he recommended to the House; he warned them against the victory to which the gentlemen opposite would urge them on; for if they gained it, they might have to say with a former conqueror, "Another such will be my ruin." But it was not merely the country that universally demanded every practicable retrenchment, and especially the abolition of such places as these. It had the sanction of the highest authorities in that House; it was strongly recommended by those distinguished men who took part in all questions of economical reform, and by none more so than by the committee in which the Speaker took so prominent a part. It was recommended by the authority of men, now unhappily no more; (Mr. H. Thornton, &c.)—whose memory was dear to their country; whose lives were devoted to an honest pursuit of its real interests; who had done more to sustain, to fortify, and to adorn the constitution than the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning) had ever attempted; who knew full as well as he did to mingle with his support of the popular branch of the government, a disinterested regard for the privileges of the Crown. These were the men, the living with the dead, the men who enjoyed the highest confidence of all parts of the community, and who reckoned hi their number the characters and the stations most revered in that House— these were they whom the right hon. gentleman now reviled, or whose memory he insulted, by charging them with hostile designs to the cause of regular government; with countenancing the wild clamours of the mob; and aiming a blow to pierce the sides of the constitution under cover of supporting such a measure as the present.
692 He should spare the House the superfluous labour of going through the latter part of the right hon. gentleman's speech, in which he had either combated arguments never even touched upon, or attempted to bewilder the House with dissertations foreign to the question upon the diminution of the influence of the Crown. But his misrepresentations were too glaring on this point to escape notice. He had contended that in former times,— in what he was pleased to designate as the true whig times, because the whigs were in power—the Crown had far more influence in the House of Commons, because a greater number of placemen then had seats in it—as if there were no other means of influence but the clumsy and direct control exerted through members having places; as if the amount of the places held were nothing, and that must on all hands be allowed to have increased; as if members were to be influenced in no other way than by the offices they themselves held. Surely no one could doubt that the Crown with its immense increase of revenue and establishment—an increase in the proportion of above seven to one. independent of rich offices in the colonies, an increase in the proportion of above four to one since the year 1792— might possess more real weight in parliament, more effective means of swaying its deliberations though the number of placemen having seats, had been reduced to one half, instead of only varying by some half dozen. But even if there be in reality any risk of the influence of the Crown in that House decreasing too much, it should be observed, that agreeing to his hon. friend's motion would not produce the slightest danger or inconvenience, for it pledged the legislature to no permanent alteration in the number of placemen. At any future time the right hon. gentleman and the other alarmist, when they should find the royal authority toe much on the decline, might bring forward a resolution (which he wished they would do at once instead of always insinuating it), "that the influence of the crown had decreased, was decreasing, and ought to be augmented;" and if the House agreed with them, its adoption would be followed by a restoration of the suspended lay lords to their primitive state of idleness and salary.
But it seems inducements must be given to men of talents and respectability to enter the service of the state. This was a delicate as well as a wide field 693 of observation. He could have wished that the right hon. gentleman had gone more lightly over it. He was sorry he should have chosen the present crisis for so open and downright an avowal to the public (now for the first time fairly told, whatever they might have suspected before), that politics were a trade'—that men be took themselves to it as to other lines of traffic for its emoluments—and that it was a trade which the state must encourage by high bounties. Perhaps the existing circumstances of the country, and of all the other branches of its commerce, did not peculiarly suit so open and undisguised a declaration of What he could no longer doubt to be, in some instances at least, the fact. As to the other professions, with the profits of which the right hon. gentleman had compared the gains of professional politicians, he greatly feared he had over-rated them. When he spoke, somewhat unaccountably, of half-guinea motions, as a very tempting object of cupidity, he perhaps only mistook the least lucrative for the most lucrative branch of that most laborious profession. But let him take even the instances of every great gain, and they were but few, he could venture to assure him, that there were no such things in the law as places of 14,000l. a year for doing nothing; and yet he had known of traders in the right hon. gentleman's line getting such things, after lives neither very long nor very laborious, in that line.
The noble lord (Castlereagh) had on a former night desired a noble friend of his (lord Milton) not to make himself what he was pleased to term "a man of crimination." The noble lord and his supporters had now shown themselves only as "men of recrimination." They had not argued the question fairly; they had resorted to what was well termed elsewhere"a miserable tu quoque." They left his hon. friend's (sir M. Ridley's) arguments untouched; they did not deny their force; but they said, "you yourselves when in office left the seven lords in the admiralty." Now, admitting this to be true, it was beside the question. It applied only to the ministry of 1806. It did not apply to him (Mr. B.) nor to those around him, still less had it any application to the people at large—and to those gentlemen in parliament who belonged to neither party. But it was as false as it was inapplicable, for the ministers of 1806 were in office only during war; and though he (Mr. B.) might think those places useless even in 694 war, it did not follow that those who then administered the governments and who were thus taunted with a supposed inconsistency, would have maintained the same establishment in time of peace.
He implored the House to dismiss from their consideration every thing but the real merits of the question, and the actual state of the country. Let them truly apply themselves to satisfy the just and reasonable expectations of the people, and they would speedily put down the clamour of the populace. They had heard much about popular outcry; it was a convenient topic on all questions of retrenchment;— for if any saving was recommended which the public had not asked, it was said we were going beyond the rabble themselves; and if any thing was proposed which all men loudly demanded, the concession was deprecated as tending to encourage clamour. The right hon. gentleman was the most clamorous in giving such advice—the loudest in his warnings against ail consession. He—the greatest dealer in delusion—was the first to exclaim against deluding the country. He—the most active promoter of clamour, religious as well as political—was perpetually crying out against clamour. But it was to be hoped that the House would show itself above the reach of the clamour and delusion, in which he traded; and, regardless too of any other outery, except the just voice of the people raised for the recovery of their rights, would satisfy their reasonable expectations, by sanctioning the only system which could at once meet the exigencies of the crisis, and save and strengthen the constitution of the country.
§ The previous question being put, the House divided:
|List of the Majority and Minority.|
|Abdy, sir W.||Benson, R.|
|Abercromby, Robt,||Beresford, lord G.|
|Addington, rt. hon. J.||Beresford, sir J.|
|Alexander, James||Bernard, lord|
|Allan, George||Binning, lord|
|Apsley, lord||Blackburne, J. I.|
|Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C.||Blair, J H.|
|Ashurst, W. H.||Bloomfield, sir B.|
|Barne, M.||Boswell, A.|
|Barry, J. M.||Bourne, W. S.|
|Bathurst, rt. hon. C.||Bridport, lord|
|Bective, earl of||Brogden, James.|
|Brydges, sir E.||Hare, hon. R.|
|Buller, sir E.||Harvey, Charles|
|Butler, hon. C.||Heathcote, T. F.|
|Calvert, John||Holford, G. P.|
|Campbell, gen. A.||Holmes, W.|
|Canning, rt. hon. G.||Hope, sir G.|
|Canning, G.||Horne, W.|
|Cartwright, W. B.||Hamilton, Hans.|
|Casberd, R. M.||Houblon, J. N.|
|Castlereagh, visc.||Howard, hon. T. G.|
|Chichester, A.||Hulse, sir C.|
|Chute, W.||Hume, sir W.|
|Clements, H. J.||Huskisson, rt. hon. W|
|Clerk, sir G.||Jackson, sir J.|
|Clive, visc.||Jenkinson, hon. C.|
|Clive, H.||Jocelyn, visc.|
|Cockerell, sir C.||Jones, John|
|Collins, H. P.||Irving, J.|
|Colthurst, sir N.||Kirkwall, visc.|
|Cotter, J. L.||Kynaston Powell, J.|
|Courtenay, Wm.||Lacon, E. R.|
|Courtenay, T. P.||Lascelles, visc.|
|Crickett, R. A.||Law, hon. E.|
|Crosbie, J.||Leigh, J. H.|
|Croker, J. W.||Lloyd, Hard.|
|Curtis, sir W.||Lockhart, W. E.|
|Daly, J.||Loftus, W.|
|Davis, R. H.||Long, rt. hon. C.|
|Davis, H.||Lovaine, lord|
|Dawson, Geo.||Lowther, lord|
|Deroos, hon. H.||Lowther, James|
|Disbrowe, E.||Lowther, J. junr.|
|Doveton, G.||Lushington, S. R.|
|Douglas, W. R.||Luttrell, H. F.|
|Dowdeswell, E.||Luttrell, J. F.|
|Drummond, G. H.||Lygon, hon. H.|
|Drummond, J.||Maberly, J.|
|Dundas, rt. hon. W.||M'Naghten, E. A.|
|Dunlop, J.||Macqueen, T. P.|
|Egerton, sir J. G.||Manning, W.|
|Egerton, W.||March, earl of|
|Ellison, R.||Meyler, R.|
|Estcourt, J. G.||Michael, gen. J.|
|Faulkiner, sir F.||Milne, P.|
|Fitzgerald, Aug.||Money, W. T.|
|Fane, J.||Moore, lord H.|
|Fane, Gen.||Moorsom, sir R.|
|Farmer, S.||Morritt, J. B.|
|Farquhar, J.||Needham, hon. F.|
|Fellowes, W. H.||Neville, R.|
|Finch, hon. E.||Nicholl, sir J.|
|Fitzgerald, rt. hon. V.||Ogle, H. M.|
|Fitzhugh, W.||O'Neil, hon. J.|
|Fraser, C.||Osborne, J.|
|Garrow, sir W.||Paget, hon. gen.|
|Gascoyne, I. gen.||Paget, hon. C.|
|Gilbert, D.||Paget, hon. B.|
|Glerawley, visc.||Pakenham, hon. H.|
|Golding, E.||Palmer, C. M.|
|Gooch, T. S.||Palmerston, visc.|
|Goulburn, H.||Peel, right hon. R.|
|Grant, A.||Percy, hon. J.|
|Grant, C. junr.||Perring, ald. sir J.|
|Graves, lord||Philipps, hon. E.|
|Gunning, sir G.||Pitt, J.|
|Gurney, Hudson||Pitt, W. M.|
|Hall, B.||Pocock, George|
|Pole, rt. hon. W. W.||Tomline, W. E.|
|Porter, gen. G.||Ure, M.|
|Pringle, gen. sir W.||Valletort, lord|
|Quin, hon. W.||Vernon, Granville|
|Robinson, G. A.||Wallace, rt. hon. T.|
|Robinson, rt. hon. F.||Walpole, lord|
|Rochfort, G.||Ward, hon. J. W.|
|Rose, rt. hon. G.||Ward, Robert|
|Round, J.||Warrender, sir G.|
|St. Paul, sir H.||Webber, D.|
|St. Paul, H.||Wellesley, W. W. L.|
|Shaw, B.||Webber, E. W.|
|Sheldon, R.||Wetherell, C.|
|Simeon, sir J.||White, M.|
|Singleton, M.||Williams, R.|
|Smith, ald. C.||Willoughby, H.|
|Somerset, lord G.||Wilson, C.|
|Somerville, sir M.||Wood, sir M.|
|Spencer, sir B.||Wood, col. T.|
|Staniforth, John||Wright, J. A.|
|Stirling, sir W.||Wrottesley, H.|
|Sullivan, rt. hon. J.||White, M.|
|Sumner, G. H.||Wyatt, C.|
|Suttie, sir J.||Yorke, rt. hon. C.|
|Sutton, rt. hon. C. M.||Yorke, sir J.|
|Thynne, lord J.|
|Althorp, visc.||Dundas, Charles|
|Anson, hon. sir G.||Deerhurst, visc.|
|Atherley, Arthur||Ebrington, visc.|
|Acland, sir Thos.||Elliot, rt. hon. W.|
|Browne, D.||Fane, John|
|Burrell, sir C.||Frank, Frank|
|Burrell, Walter||Fazakerley, S. N.|
|Babington, Thos.||Fergusson, sir R.|
|Bastard, E. P.||Fitzgerald, lord W.|
|Bentinck, lord W.||Fitzroy, lord John|
|Bolland, John||Folkestone, visc.|
|Barclay, C.||Frankland, Robt.|
|Bennet, hon. H. G.||Fitzgerald, rt. hon. M.|
|Baring, sir Thos.||Geary, sir W.|
|Barnett, James||Gaskell, Ben.|
|Barnard, visc.||Gipps, George|
|Birch, Joseph||Gordon, Robt.|
|Brand, hon. T.||Grenfell, Pascoe|
|Brougham, H.||Guise, sir Wm.|
|Burdett, sir F.||Hamilton, lord A.|
|Burrell, hon. P. D.||Hamilton, sir H. D.|
|Carter, John||Hanbury, Wm.|
|Calley, Thomas||Heathcote, sir G.|
|Cust, hon. Wm.||Heron, sir Robt.|
|Chetwode, sir J.||Howard, hon. W.|
|Calcraft, John||Hughes, W. L.|
|Calvert, Nic.||Hurst, Robt.|
|Calvert, C.||Jervoise, G. P.|
|Carew, R. S.||Lester, B. L.|
|Caulfield, hon. H.||Long, R. G.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||Leigh, Thos.|
|Chaloner, Robert||Lockhart, J. I.|
|Cocks, hon. J. S.||Leader, Wm.|
|Cocks, James||Lamb, hon. W.|
|Coke, Thos.||Lambton, T. G.|
|Davenport, D.||Langton, W. Gore|
|Dickenson, Wm.||Latouche, Robt. jun.|
|Duncannon, visc.||Lemon, sir W.|
|Dundas, hon. L.||Lewis, T. F.|
|Lowndes, W.||Rancliffe, lord|
|Methuen, Paul||Romilly, sir S.|
|Marryat, Jos.||Rowley, sir W.|
|Morrit, J. B.||Russell, lord Wm.|
|Macdonald, James||Russell, lord G. W.|
|Mackintosh, sir J.||Russell, R. G.|
|Maddocks, W. A.||Saville, Albany.|
|Martin, H.||Sebright, sir J.|
|Martin, John||Shaw, sir James|
|Milton, vise.||Swan, Henry|
|Molyneux, H. H.||Scudamore, R.|
|Monck, sir C.||Sharp, Richard|
|Morpeth, visc.||Sefton, earl of|
|Moore, Peter||Smith, John|
|Newman, R. W.||Smith, Sam.|
|Neville, hon. R.||Smith, A.|
|Newport, sir John||Smith, Wm.|
|North, Dudley||Smith, Robt.|
|Nugent, lord||Smyth, J. H.|
|Onslow, Arthur||Spiers, Arch.|
|Ord, Wm.||Stanley, lord|
|Ossulston, lord||Tremayne, J. H.|
|Pechel, sir Thos.||Thompson, Thos.|
|Pole, sir C. M.||Tavistock, marquess|
|Portman, E. B.||Taylor, C. W.|
|Powel, W. C.||Tierney, rt. hon. G.|
|Protheroe, E.||Townshend, lord J.|
|Peirse, H.||Vaughan, hon. J.|
|Philips, George||Wright, J. Atkins|
|Piggott, sir A.||Walpole, hon. G.|
|Ponsonby, rt. hon. G.||Waldegrave, hon. W.|
|Ponsonby, hon. F. C.||Warre, J. A.|
|Power, Richard||Webb, E.|
|Prittie, hon. F. A.||Wilkins, Walter|
|Pym, Francis||Wynn, C. W.|
|Rashleigh, W.||Bankes, Henry|
|Ramsden, J. C.||Ridley, M. W.|