HC Deb 28 June 1831 vol 4 cc456-7

Upon the question that the House do agree to the vote of a sum of money for superannuations,

Sir James Graham

said, he had great satisfaction in calling the notice of the House to an act of splendid disinterestedness on the part of a public servant, proving that generosity in the reward of public services was not always thrown away. No words of his could so well explain the circumstance as the Letter written on the subject by the individual himself, which the House would perhaps allow him to read. The right hon. Baronet accordingly read the following Letter, which he stated was addressed to Lord Althorp:— Aldenham, Watford, Jan. 30. My dear Lord,—Having been called into office under the auspices of your noble and excellent father, it is with a peculiar satisfaction that I now address his son, as Chancellor of his Majesty's Exchequer, on the subject of the remuneration that my services were thought to merit, upon my retiring from the post of First Secretary of the Admiralty. During the chief period of a naval war, on the most extensive scale, the most arduous, and attended with the most brilliant results of any recorded in the annals of the country (virtually terminating with the destruction of the combined fleets of France and Spain, in October, 1805), I laboured with the utmost assiduity and zeal in the performance of the duties of Second and First Secretary, under seven different naval Administrations; when, feeling my constitution to be materially injured by the close and unremitting confinement which those duties demanded, I was under the necessity (at Midsummer, 1807), of applying for leave to retire; on which occasion a pension of 1,500l. per annum was granted to me under the King's Order in Council. This pension, together with the blessing of restored health, I have enjoyed for many years; and now, finding that the means I possess are adequate to furnishing me with all the comforts that belong to my period of life, I am sensible of the propriety of ceasing to trespass on the national liberality, and therefore trouble your Lordship with the intimation, that after the payment at Midsummer next, it is not my intention to apply, in the customary manner, at the Navy-office for its continuance. With the strongest impression of gratitude for the bounty I have hitherto experienced from the public, I have the honour to remain, my dear Lord, Your Lordship's most faithful and Obedient servant. WILLIAM MARSDES. The Viscount Althorp. Nothing which he could say would add to the admiration which all who heard him must feel at the conduct of this gentleman, and any expressions he could use would fall very short of the sentiments contained in this Letter, but he should not have done his duty if he had not given expression to the feelings which it had produced on his mind.

Resolutions agreed to.