HC Deb 05 November 1830 vol 1 cc244-5
Mr. Hume

moved for returns of Pensions to widows of Officers of the Army, Navy and Civil service. He could not but confess him self averse to all public pensions, as they merely produced extravagance in individuals, and only effected results which might be attained by economy, and without burthening the public. A system of individual saving, to establish pension funds, had been commenced in private companies, and the contributions were from the salaries of the clerks. From this day forward, he would maintain, that no man, unless he was injured in the public service, ought to be entitled to a pension. He wished to get out of the present vicious principle entirely; for until pensions for one class, and poor-rates to provide for another, were got rid of, it was hopeless to expect that the country would have either a body of independent gentlemen or a body of independent peasantry. The poor of Scotland were many degrees better than those of England, for they depended upon their own exertions and upon the feelings of their neighbours, and not upon the right to parochial relief. In the same manner he believed that the middle classes would be better if they had neither pensions nor bounties to look for.

Mr. Leader

thought that the system of making retrenchments by turning poor clerks out of office was one of great cruelty.

Lord F. L. Gower

maintained, that the widows' pensions were now governed upon a principle which could not encourage any extravagance in officers.

Mr. Warburton

thought, that the widows of common soldiers ought to be entitled to pensions, and he denied that there was any wish on that side of the House to reduce the widows of officers and of common soldiers to the same level.

Mr. Hume

complained, that the rich man's wife now had a pension, and the poor man's had none. The soldier and sailor, the real nerve and arm of war, had no claim to this bounty, whilst others had.

Lord F. L. Gower

denied the correctness of the last observation of the hon. member for Middlesex.

Motion agreed to.