HC Deb 22 November 1830 vol 1 cc624-6
Mr. O'Connell

, seized the same opportunity to express his hope that the office of Treasurer for Ireland, a sinecure, would be abolished. This was the more necessary, as the country was paying 16,000l. a-year as pensions to retired or displaced Lord Chancellors, and might soon have an additional 8,000l. to pay.

Mr. J. Wood

would take that opportunity to say, that though no individual could differ more than he did upon many public questions with the members of his Majesty's late Administration, he regretted, upon other grounds, that some of them had been obliged to quit office. Though no ministry ever came into power in times of greater difficulty than those which marked the accession of the present Ministry, he rejoiced exceedingly that the principles which they professed had triumphed and he did not sit there to oppose them, [the hon. Member occupied his usual seat on the Opposition Benches,] but he sat there, because it was his opinion that, in the present corrupt state of the Representation it was the duty of every independent Member of Parliament to exercise a vigilance, almost amounting to a suspicion, towards any Administration. Though he differed upon many general public grounds from the right hon. Gentleman, the late Secretary for the Home Department, he conceived that the country was indebted to him for many useful reforms; and he regretted much that that right hon. Gentleman had felt it his duty to retire from office. He was sorry that the right hon. Gentleman had not become convinced of the necessity of reform; but, at the same time, he trusted, though out of office, that the country would feel grateful to the right hon. Baronet for what he had effected. He also regretted the retirement of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland, than whom no one could be found better calculated for the discharge of the public duties which had devolved upon him; and he likewise regretted the retirement of the noble Lord who had presided over the Woods and Forests, the duties of which office would never be discharged in a more vigilant excellent, and honourable manner. While he said all this, he was far from wishing to be understood as giving his praise or assent to the general public principles which had rendered the retirement of the late Ministers necessary, in order to satisfy the country. He repeated, that he thought these were times of great difficulty in which the new Ministry had come into power; but never was a more glorious opportunity presented to any Ministry than was offered to them, and never did the country place more confidence in a Ministry who came into office upon the sole foundation of reform and retrenchment. The new Ministers were pledged to reform and retrenchment, and to the principle of non-interference with foreign Powers, and if they but did their duty, they might be sure that the country would support them. If that House should not support them in carrying into effect those measures to which they were pledged, then let them dissolve Parliament, and make their appeal to the country. Constituted as that House was, the Treasury could always return from twenty to thirty Members, and if the new Ministers should be driven to a dissolution, they could at once command that number of supporters from the Government boroughs, and he would assure them that all popular places would send Representatives to that House to support them.

Sir Joseph Yorke

(who spoke from his usual place upon the Ministerial benches) said, he was also anxious to make a declaration of his sentiments upon this occasion, as well as the hon. member for Preston. If the new Ministers would conduct themselves properly—if they would redeem the pledges which they had given—and if, beginning at the right end, they would effect the retrenchment and the Reform which they promised, they should have his support. He hoped, among other things, that the new Ministry would again bring forward the question for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, which ought to be done away. The greatest mistake of all had been the declaration against Reform. Had the franchises of a few of the corrupt boroughs been given to the large towns, even by way of a sop to Cerberus, the Ministers might have weathered the storm, and he for one regretted that they had not done so.

Mr. Pringle

expressed his dissent from the gallant Admiral's opinion as to the office of Lord Lieutenant for Ireland.

Writ ordered.