HC Deb 04 February 1831 vol 2 cc189-90
Mr. Hume

rose to move for Returns relative to the incomes of the Junior Branches of the Royal Family. He stated, that formerly all these Revenues were paid out of the Civil List; and as all other salaries, pensions, and revenues, were to be reduced, he thought the revenues of the Royal Family might be reduced also. Up to 1806, each of the junior branches of the Royal Family bad not more than 12,000l. a year; then, under the Administration of the Talents, 6,000l. a year was added. The Act then passed stated, however, that the incomes should not exceed 15,000l. a year; and he thought there were good grounds for inquiring into the subject, when he found the Duke of Cambridge had 27,000l. a year, besides the emoluments of a high situation in another country. The grants to the other members of the Royal Family were proportionably large. He knew that what each one of the Royal Family received might be ascertained by the public accounts on the Table, but he wished to have all their incomes placed before the House in one view. He regretted, that he had concurred in the Act of Parliament for providing for the servants of George 3rd. He believed that that King had left no property behind him, or otherwise he certainly should never have agreed to that Act. There was, however, much property left behind, and it was wholly unaccounted for. The whole of these expenses were not less than 271,000l. a year—a sum fully sufficient to maintain the dignity of the Sovereign. Every person in the country strove to live up to the pattern set by the Sovereign and the Princes of the Blood. Following their example, every man in the country lived beyond his income, and was encouraged to do so by the extravagances of the Princes, and by the example set by that House. He was not in the habit of referring to The Quarterly Review to enforce his statements; but it was very ably stated in that work last year, that the extravagance of the salaries given to public men had had a most pernicious influence on the country, by affording a bad example. At present, all the higher classes were in great difficulties; and if the House hoped to cure these evils, it must begin at the head. He hoped that the good sense of the members of the Royal Family would induce them to consider the value of public opinion, and reduce their expenses. There was another part of the subject which he wished to notice. On the death of any branch of the Royal Family the incomes of the survivors were liable to be augmented. He wished, therefore, to have a Return of the income of each member of the Royal Family, and of the contingencies of increased income of which they had expectations. The hon. Member concluded by moving for "A Return of all sums of money paid out of the Consolidated Fund to the several branches of the Royal Family, separate from any payments to be made from the Civil List; stating the amount paid to each, the Acts of Parliament under which it was granted, and the amount granted to each; and also, what contingent benefit each member might expect under the Acts."

Mr. Goulburn,

knowing it was better to correct a false impression at the moment than afterwards, rose to say, that the income of the younger branches of the Royal Family were not liable to be increased at the death of any of the members of that family. That, he knew, was a general opinion, but it was an incorrect one.—Motion agreed to.