HC Deb 12 March 1824 vol 10 cc963-4

On the resolution, "That 2,442l. be granted to defray the expenses of certain Colonial Services, formerly paid out of the extraordinaries of the army, for the year 1824,"

Mr. Hume

observed, that he had expected never to have heard of this grant again. With regard to the salaries paid to the private secretaries of the governors of Barbadoes, and the other West-India islands, amounting altogether to 1,822l., he had no hesitation in saying, that the country ought to be relieved from them altogether, as they were in possession of a considerable income arising from their fees of office. If he did not receive some satisfactory assurance upon this subject, he should move as an amendment, that the amount of these salaries be deducted from this grant.

Mr. Wilmot Horton

observed, that the hon. member seemed to be confounding the private secretaries of the governors with the public secretaries of the island. The latter functionaries did, it was true, receive fees; but the former received none, their emoluments being confined to the sum of 10s. per diem that was paid to them. He contended, that a private secretary was an indispensable adjunct to a West-India governor.

Mr. Hume

thought that the explanation of the hon. secretary was any thing but satisfactory.

Mr. Goulburn

said, it was absolutely necessary for every governor of a West-India island to have a private secretary. Their emoluments were barely sufficient to support the rank and station which they were called upon to fill; and, as that was the case, the public could not do less than pay the salaries of their private secretaries.

Mr. Grey Bennet

observed, that his hon. friend (Mr. Hume) and his private secretary had rendered more service to the public than all the public men with all their private secretaries under the pay of government. He hoped his hon. friend would take the sense of the House on the question.

Mr. Hume

said, what he complained of was, that the governors of the colonies did not call on the houses of assembly to pay their private secretaries if they wanted them. He did not see why Barbadoes, St. Kitt's, and other places, should call upon this country to support private secretaries for them, when New South Wales had hitherto done without one. He concluded with moving, "That the grant should be reduced to 620l."

The committee then divided: For the amendment 21: For the original motion 93: Majority 72.

List of the Minority.
Bernal, R. Monck, J. B.
Colburn, R. Robarts, A. W.
Davies, col. Robarts, col.
Fergusson, sir R. Robinson, sir G.
Guise, sir W. Sefton, lord
Hume, J. Webb, colonel.
James, W. Whitbread, S.
Lamb, hon. G. Wood, ald.
Lockhart, J. J. Wrottesley, sir J.
Maberly, J. TELLER.
Maberly, W. L. Bennet, H. G.
Martin, J.