§ Lord Althorp
said, that before he proceeded with the subject to which the Order of that Day referred, he could not help adverting to the short discussion which had just taken place. The fact was, that in refusing the proposition for an outfit for her Majesty, his Majesty had only acted in accordance with that generous line of conduct which he had followed since his accession to the Throne; that in doing so he had manifested that kind attention which he had always paid to the wants and wishes of his people, and it might be truly said, that his Majesty had proved himself by that, as well as by every other act of his life, entitled to their gratitude and affection. It was to his Majesty solely that the obligation for the sacrifice which had been made in this instance was due. He wished to state distinctly, that it wars to his Majesty's generosity and kindness that the people were indebted for the refusal of the proposition for an outfit. He thought it necessary to state distinctly, in consequence of what had fallen from the hon. member for Sussex, that neither to the right hon. Gentleman opposite, nor to his Majesty's present Ministers, belonged any of the merit of that part of the arrangement; it was solely and entirely attributable to his Majesty himself. To render the Resolution intelligible which he was about to propose, he would first state the alterations which he had suggested in the plan of the Civil List. The first alteration was one of principle: it was the withdrawing from the account of the Civil List all expenses not 960 immediately applicable to the dignity of the Crown, and to the household of his Majesty. In former times the Civil List had applied to the whole of the Civil expenditure of the country. By degrees, and even before the time of Mr. Burke, but especially in the year 1782, a large proportion of the regular public expenditure had been withdrawn from the Civil List, and carried to other heads of the public account. It was his opinion, that none of the regular expenses of the State ought ever to appear upon the Civil List, in as much as they ought to be under the constant and vigilant control of Parliament, and ought not to be voted permanently at the commencement of each reign. The other alterations of the Civil List which he had had the honour of proposing in the month of November last, consisted principally in a reduction of the amount of the pensions, and in a different mode of stating them. The amount of the pensions upon the Civil List, chargeable upon England, Scotland, and Ireland, had been 154,000l., and an attempt had been made to reduce them to 140,000l. He had thought it his duty to propose a reduction of the total amount of these pensions to 75,000l. and this sum was to include all pensions payable upon the Civil List voted in lieu of the hereditary revenues of the Crown. In making up to the Crown a grant in lieu of its hereditary revenue, it was necessary to explain, that the Crown would have felt itself called upon to pay these pensions out of its hereditary revenue had they not been otherwise provided for by a vote of Parliament. It would be difficult for the House to give separate pensions to every individual to whom the Crown might wish to show its favours. Upon this ground alone, even if there were no others, he should hold that it was right and proper that a certain class and amount of pensions should be placed upon the Civil List. There had, however, been different modes suggested of doing this. One proposition had been, to make a large addition to the Privy Purse, which would enable the Crown to bestow pensions without the advice or concurrence of its confidential servants. He had always thought this to be a most unconstitutional and inexpedient proposition, and one that might lead and probably would frequently lead to great inconvenience, and to much public mischief; for nothing could be so essential to the good Government of the 961 country as that the Crown should not act in such matters but through the medium of its constitutional and responsible advisers. Times had existed in which the Crown had not acted quite cordially with its Ministers and if this power of granting pensions were left entirely to the Crown, it might possibly be delegated to irresponsible and bad persons. All such pensions ought to be given upon the advice of responsible persons, in accordance with the great doctrine of the Constitution, that no Sovereign ought to do any thing but upon the advice of a known and responsible Minister. Such were the points in which the Civil List, as he had originally proposed it, differed from all former Civil Lists. This Civil List had been referred to a Select Committee of that House, and in the consideration which the committee had given to it, it was necessary to state, that the committee had not been invested with any power to call upon persons to give their evidence before it, or to require the production of papers. He apprehended that the cause of this had been, that the House was not willing that the expenses of his Majesty should be examined into in detail, and certainly he would say, it was not consistent with the respect due to his Majesty to examine into the detail of those expenses of his household which applied to him in his character as an individual. Though the Committee had not been invested with the power to examine witnesses or call for papers, questions were asked by it to a certain extent, and to that extent, in giving the answers, he had felt himself responsible. The questions which had been put could be answered only by him, and only to the extent that he thought they should be answered; therefore he was in every respect responsible upon this point. He should take it upon himself to say, that although there had been no objection to the Committee's inquiring into that part of the expenditure which applied to the Officers of State, and to the Officers of the Household, there was decidedly an objection to its going into any examination of that part of it which related to the immediate service of his Majesty. The Committee did examine into different offices of the household. In the first class, the Committee took up the subject of the Privy Purse, and especially of that of her Majesty the Queen. They had no means of estimating what these expenses actually were. It was absolutely impossible for the 962 Committee to go into the details of such a subject, and all, therefore, that the Committee could do was, to proceed carefully upon the ground of precedents. They found that the sum of 60,000l. had been granted to his Majesty for so long a period as the expenses of the Privy Purse, that it was a precedent to be followed with propriety. They found likewise that 50,000l. per annum had been granted for the Privy purse of the Queen Consort of George 2nd, and that the same sum had been granted to the Queen of George 3rd, in the second year after her marriage, and that at a later period the vote had been increased to the amount of 58,000l. The Committee therefore had decided, that it would be expedient to recommend that the House should grant to their Majesties, for the Privy Purse, the sum of 110,000l. In the second class the Committee went into the examination of the different offices of the Household, and here some reductions had been thought proper by the Committee. The proposition was for the grant of 130,300l. and the Committee had reported that 119,344l. 10s. would be sufficient—making a diminution of 10,955l. 10s. It was proposed that a few offices should be reduced. The salary of the Lord Chamberlain was to be lowered from 3,085l. to 2,000l.and reductions of various amounts were to be made in the amounts annually given to the Vice-Chamberlain, the Groom of the Stole, the Lords and Grooms of the Bed Chamber, the Captain and Board of Gentlemen Pensioners, the Captain and Yeomen of the Guard, four Physicians, two Surgeons, and the Usher of the Black Rod; those reductions amounted, in the whole, to 7,426l. In the Lord Steward's Department the reductions only amounted to 1,494l. 10s. including the Lord Steward, the Treasurer of the Household, the Comptroller of the Household, and the Secretary to the Lord Steward. In the department of the Master of the Horse, the reductions recommended amounted to 2,035l. including the salary of the Master of the Horse, which was to be lowered from 3,350l. to 2,500l. a year, with other diminutions in payments to the Chief Equerry, the four Equerries, four Pages of Honour, the Veterinary Surgeon, and the Equerry of the Crown Stables. The third class applied to the expenses of the departments of the Household, which included all money laid out in the purchase of different necessaries 963 and the Committee having considered the estimates of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Goulburn), as well as those which he (Lord Althorp) had laid before them, and having given to both the closest examination, they did not think it possible for the King to live, as his Majesty was now living, in the hospitality in which he was pleased to indulge, and which every man in the country must wish him to continue, under the sum that had hitherto been granted. No reduction in this respect could be made without the danger, and even the certainty, of the Civil List getting into debt. Under the fourth class of the Civil List, the Committee had recommended that the small sum of 500l. should be deducted from the Royal Bounty for the reward of special services, and that the sum of 74l., paid to the Arabic Professor should not appear upon the Civil List. The fifth class included the head of Pensions which were recommended to be reduced from 140,000l. to 75,000l. per annum. These were the total of the Estimates that were proposed, by command of his Majesty, to be granted in lieu of the hereditary revenue of the Crown. The Government had recommended a total sum of 510,000l. to be given as the amount of the Civil List; but the Committee, thinking that a small reduction might be made, had thought proper to recommend a grant of 498,470l. 10s. per annum. The reductions which the Committee had recommended were of a very trifling amount, indeed of so trifling an amount, that they could not form any saving to be of service to the country. He confessed that he thought that the making of such reductions as these would be treating his Majesty in a way that he did not think that the country wished his Majesty to be treated in. He had not felt himself justified in proposing to the House the reductions which the Committee had recommended. He took the responsibility upon himself, for from the mode in which his Majesty had conducted himself, the people did not wish to have reductions made from the Civil List which could be of no benefit to the country. He should therefore propose a vote of 510,000l. Upon the grounds that he had stated, he should feel himself fully justified in putting that vote to the House. The noble Lord concluded by moving, "That it is the opinion of this Committee that, for the support of the dignity of the Crown, and to defray the 964 expenses of his Majesty's Household, there be granted to his Majesty the nett yearly revenue of 510,00l. commencing from the day of the demise of his late Majesty, and that the said sum be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.
concurred with the noble Lord, that whatever was necessary for the support of the comfort of his Majesty, and of the dignity of his Crown, the House ought to be prepared to grant. Although the noble Lord seemed to consider 10,000l. or 12,000l. a saving of no importance, he should say, that in point of principle, it was a saving of great consequence to the country, and to the character of his Majesty's Government. Although he had not agreed with the Committee upon many principal points, he hoped that no Gentleman could say that he was not disposed to accede to whatever was likely to conduce to the comfort of his Majesty, and to the honour and dignity of his Crown. But upon this subject he had drawn a line, and upon this he was anxious that the House should decide. He was willing that the House should give all that was necessary, but nothing more. In a sum of half a million, the saving of 12,000l. might be considered as immaterial; but he should maintain, that if only 10l. could be saved, the principle ought to regulate the proceedings of that House. No sovereign had a right to expect to be treated more liberally by the public than his present Majesty. Whilst he was manifesting his generous sympathy with the wants and wishes of his subjects, they were bound to yield their opinions, and to meet what might appear to him to be necessary to support the comfort and uphold the dignity of the situation in which he was placed. He, however, felt anxious to take from the Civil List what, by the unanimous opinion, or at least the opinion of a very considerable majority, of the Committee, was thought to be superfluous, after ten or fifteen days' deliberation. As regarded the sum of 110,000l. for the Privy Purse, he felt quite satisfied that less than such an amount could not meet the fair and reasonable wants of his Majesty. Although this might appear to be a very large sum when compared to small incomes, yet when reference was made to the situation of their Majesties, he was quite prepared to say, that the sum of 110,000l. was nothing more than their Majesties were entitled to receive from the Commons of England. 965 The next division of the Civil List amounted to 130,300l., and the Committee proposed to take off ll,000l. This class comprised the salaries of the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, the Master of the Horse, and other great officers of the Household. In deducting; from this fund, nothing would be taken from the comfort of his Majesty, but only from the receipts of the high-bred Officers of State. In a case where economy was to be promoted, he had a right to ask the House to attend to what the Committees had done. The Lord Steward received a salary of 2,436l. per annum, and it was proposed to reduce it to 2,000l. a year. The Committee pro- posed to reduce the salaries of the Treasurer and Comptroller from 904l. a year each, to 500l., and the Secretary from 1,000l. to 750l. The Lord Chamberlain was an officer of rank, and his duties were important, but he possessed great honours, and enjoyed extensive patronage, and the Committee had thought that his salary should be reduced from 3,085l. to 2,000l. a year. As these officers were subject to expenses in the performance of their duty, it was right that the public should pay them. In no other part of the world than England did such dignified officers of State receive salaries, but they performed their duties as honorary distinctions. The Committee had acted liberally towards the officers, and with due economy towards the public. The Committee had reduced the Vice-chamberlain's salary from 2,000l. to 1,500l. a year, and that of the Master of the Horse from 3,300l. to 2,500l. per annum. The Chief Equerries were proposed to be reduced from 1,000l. each to 750l. These deductions, which amounted to 11,000l., were not upon the half million, the total amount of the Civil List, but from the salaries of certain officers, and it made a difference equal to twenty per cent. He regretted that the noble Lord should treat a deduction of twenty per cent upon one head of service as a trifle unworthy his notice. The example of taking 20l. per cent from the salaries of the higher officers ought to be followed with respect to inferior officers, who were receiving remuneration at the full war price of every thing, A sum of 8,229l. would fall into the Civil List at the death of certain officers, whose services were already dispensed with. The sum of 13,450/l, the superannuation payments to the servants of his late Majesty, would fall in, and prove another acquisi- 966 tion to the officers of his Majesty's establishment. These sums would amount in all to 130,300l., and he agreed that this sum, as it fell in, should revert to his Majesty. Ministers had said that they were anxious that a general review should take place of all salaries, so as to enable them to judge of how far their own salaries might be reduced, and from this to form a scale of reduction from the salaries of inferior persons. When the Committee upon Salaries made their report to the House, he supposed that the noble Lord would treat their economy as of little consequence, and advise the House not to attend to it. After accounts had been laid before a Committee, was the House to be told to pay no attention to the report of that Committee? He begged the noble Lord not to place the House in so awkward a situation. The Committee had decided upon the tradesmen's bills without going into any detail. Upon the fourth class he had differed very much from the Committee, for he could not conceive why any secret-service money should be placed at the disposal of his Majesty, when there was another annual vote of secret-service money to the extent of 50,000l. He next objected to the charities upon the Civil List, for in disposing of these his Majesty knew no more about them than he did: they were disposed of by Ministers, and the effect was, to swell out the Civil List, and make it appear that his Majesty was receiving a larger sum than he actually did receive. Many of these charities he knew to be of the most exceptionable nature. Neither he nor the hon. member for Queen's County were present at the drawing up the report of the Committee, as neither of them concurred in it. Now he would ask any man, whether the charge for pensions added anything to the support of the dignity of the Crown? Certainly not; for that charge held out to the people, that a much greater sum than was necessary was wanted for the support of the dignity of the Crown. The sum taken was greater by 75,000l. than the sum that was necessary. He was not called upon to state individual instances of abuses in the Pension List; but he took the matter upon the broad principle, which he defied any man to defend. On this ground it was his intention to propose a motion, the purport of which would be, that these pensions should not be borne on this Civil List, but that they should be transferred 967 to some other fund. If this were granted, he had no hesitation in stating, that it was his intention to propose, further, that no money should be paid on account of these pensions, until it was pointed out for what public services they had been granted. There could be no harm in this, for he was sure that it could not be considered that these pensions had been granted for a longer period than the life of the late King. Out of a sum of 1,937,836l. which had been paid in Pensions, no less than 1,900,000l. had been granted to individuals who had performed no public services whatever. The Pension List amounted to 150,000l., and yet all that the noble Lord proposed to raise by the steam-tax was 75,000l.; so that if the Pension List was removed, the noble Lord might get rid of any necessity to impose this tax, and save 75,000l. into the bargain. However, he did not propose that the whole of the Pension List should be removed. If half of it were taken off, the noble Lord might withdraw his proposal for a very unpopular tax. Now, in this view of the case, how could it be said that the people had been relieved as much as it was possible to relieve them? He was sorry to have detained the House so long, but he thought that he should not have performed his duty as a member of the Committee, if he had not made this statement. He should propose, as an Amendment, that there be voted for his Majesty's Civil List the sum of 423,470l. instead of 510,000l. This Amendment would deduct from the vote proposed by the noble Lord, 75,000l. for Pensions, and the 12,000l. which the Committee had proposed to take off. These reductions would not be inconsistent with the terms of the vote proposed, for the sums which he wished to take off were not necessary for the personal comfort of the King, or for the support of the dignity of the Crown.
§ Sir Joseph Yorke
said, that he would not detain the House two minutes. He protested against the hon. member for Middlesex using the name of the Sovereign in the way in which he had used it. The hon. Member, when he thought that the Sovereign had behaved like a good boy, declared that he had no objection to the grant; but when the hon. Member thought the King was a bad boy, he objected to the grant. Now he thought that this was very unfair. The grant was made to the Crown, not to the individual. He could 968 not help feeling, that the Committee was placed in the most inconsistent situation in which Gentlemen had ever yet found themselves. This Government came in with the pledge of the most unflinching economy, and the last Government went out because they were thought somewhat too prodigal. The Civil List was the particular point on which they went out. Then came the present Government, who referred the Civil List to a Committee; that Committee had made a report, and now down came the noble Lord, and, like all other Ministers, he had said to them—" I don't care two straws about the recommendations of the Committee." For his own part, he should vote for the recommendations of the Committee.
§ Sir G. Warrender
did expect that the proposition of the Committee would have been agreed to, as the reductions suggested by the Committee took away nothing of what was necessary for the support of the dignity of the Crown, or the maintenance of the personal comfort of his Majesty. If this course were not adopted, he must say that the time and labour of the Committee would have been absolutely thrown away; and he, as one of the Committee, could not help feeling so. He was a friend to reduction, but he could not, on principle, bring his mind to say, that the pensions ought to be taken away; because he was sure, that custom had justified the opinion that those pensions were granted for the lives of the holders of them. He had no objection, however, to see the pensions removed from the Civil List.
§ Sir G. Warrender
begged his hon. friend's pardon. His hon. friend's demand went much further. In a word, he was prepared to agree in the recommendations of the Committee, although, at the same time, he could not conceal his fear that the somewhat more than inconvenient consequence— namely, the Crown incurring debt—might result from those recommendations being carried into effect.
was understood to say, that he did not think that any Minister, however honest, could do full justice to the country without endangering some of the leading interests upon which his Administration must depend. He thought that the Pension List was within this principle. To the Pension List many noble families had been in the habit of resorting, to obtain support for their needy families 969 and connexions,—and no Minister, unaided by the declared sense of that House, would be found bold enough to encounter the hostility of those noble personages, by voluntarily surrendering a power on which so great an influence necessarily depended. The pensions hitherto charged on the Civil List might be divided into two classes—the one consisting of rewards or remunerations to individuals for services performed; the other, of provisions for favoured or distressed individuals. Against the first of the classes it was far from his wish to raise an objection. Whenever services had been rendered to the country by any individual, the people were ready to evince their gratitude, and no reward which could be suggested, within the bounds of reason, was ever deemed excessive. Whether the names of the individuals who had distinguished themselves should be privately placed on the Pension List, as an act of mere Ministerial arrangement, or should be publicly recorded in the Votes of this House, in pursuance of a Message from his Majesty, was the only question as to pensions of that description. For himself he greatly preferred the latter mode, as more honourable to the individuals by whom services had been rendered, as well as infinitely more satisfactory to the feelings of the people. On this ground, and on this ground alone, he begged leave to suggest, that pensions for services performed should hereafter be granted only under the authority of a vote of that House, founded on a Message from the King, and that they should be charged on the Consolidated Fund, without being mixed up or blended as they had been with the expenses of the Civil List. With respect to the other class of pensions, to favoured or distressed individuals, the system which had hitherto prevailed appeared to him so open to abuse, that he trusted the House would pardon him for entering into a few details. Though the pensions were charged on a fund which always expired on the demise of the Crown, yet the uniform course had been, to continue them during the lives of the respective grantees. Such a system had led to the greatest enormities. Many of the persons whose names were placed on the Pension List, might have been extremely proper objects of compassion at the time when their pensions were granted, but had since acceded to large possessions and abundant wealth. To continue to persons so circumstanced pen- 970 sions originally intended as a relief to distressed objects, was, in his view, alike disgraceful to the Legislature who connived at so glaring an impropriety, and to the individuals who availed themselves of so unreasonable an indulgence. Yet they saw the wealthy heads of some of our most illustrious families condescend to receive, or suffer their nearest relatives to retain, the pittances so granted. The widows and daughters of many needy Peers who were generously relieved with pensions while objects of distress, still continued to claim their pensions, though they were now become the wives of some of our most wealthy commoners. It would be invidious to select names, but there was no hon. Gentleman who heard him who would feel difficulty in pointing out individuals by whom the bounty of their Sovereign was thus grossly abused. The hon. Member concluded by moving "That all existing Pensions heretofore charged on the Civil List, shall be transferred to the Consolidated Fund. "That no Pensions shall hereafter be charged on the Civil List; and that in lieu of the power to charge Pensions on the Civil List, heretofore exercised by the Crown, the annual sum of 10,000l. shall be added to his Majesty's Privy Purse, to be applied in such manner as his Majesty shall, from time to time, be pleased to direct, without any control." On the Chairman intimating to the hon. Member that his Motion was premature while there was another Amendment undisposed of, he withdrew it.
said, it was with extreme regret that he found the vote now proposed was not in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee. He admitted that the saving proposed by the Committee was small in amount; but he would ask, was it small in principle? Surely, when the great principle which it recognized was considered, it ought not to be despised? If the Committee could not bring large savings before the House, assuredly they could appeal to the candour of the House to allow them the merit of having occupied themselves laboriously with this subject. At this time, when the public were taught to look upon that House with suspicion, when they were described, however falsely, as having no feeling for the interests of the people,— it was their duty not to accede to any suggestion which might tend to support that delusion. For himself, he would plainly say, that the House, as it was at 971 present constituted, appeared to him to be perfectly adequate to the discharge of all the duties which devolved upon it. He was by no means opposed to a just economical Reform; and he would not object to take the sense of the House with respect to the reduction from this grant of 12,000l.
§ Lord Althorp
was a good deal surprised at the effort which was made to reduce so very small a sum in the vote which was proposed for the first class of his Majesty's expenditure. The hon. member for Middlesex had gone through all the different items on which he conceived a total amount of reduction ought to be made. It was argued, as if the object of the Committee was to continue all the salaries at the rate at which they stood. That, however, was not the proposition before the House. The proposition simply was, "Will you give 510,000l. for the support of the King's Household?" and those who made that proposition were called on to reduce that sum by 12,000l. Now, it should be observed, when this principle of reduction was in this instance advocated, that there was an evident distinction between public officers who were examined before the Committee, and those officers who were connected with the Household of his Majesty. It was for his Majesty, in the latter case, acting under the advice of his Minister, to say what provision he would make for his servants. It. did not follow that that provision would be the same as at present, if the grant were allowed. They were not now, it ought to be observed, considering the amount of salary that should be granted to individual officers; but they were deliberating on the amount of the Civil List to be granted to his Majesty. When they considered the duties of the Lord Chamberlain, as compared with the duties of other officers, they might perhaps think that the Lord Chamberlain's salary stood too high. But the question was, whether, on that account, they would think it proper and fitting to call for a reduction on the gross sum of 510,000l. of so trifling a portion of it as 12,000l. Such a course, on such an occasion, was, he believed never taken before. If, after the great and strenuous efforts which had been made by the Committee to examine into the whole of the Civil List, it had been found possible that any very-large amount of saving could have been effected, then, undoubtedly, this proposition would not have been brought forward. 972 But, when the amount of saving there proposed was so very small, he hardly thought it worth while to introduce it. With respect to the reduction of the salaries paid to officers of the Crown, which had been recommended by the Committee, a reduction would take place. He did not know whether the salaries of the Lord Chamberlain and of the Lord Steward would be reduced to the sums proposed by the Committee, nor did he mean to say, that they would not be reduced to that extent; but the proposition would be laid before his Majesty, and he would state what he conceived those salaries ought to be. It did not, as he had before observed, follow, because 510,000l., was voted for the Civil List, that therefore those salaries should continue. As to the sum of 75,000l. for pensions, he did not consider that it was by any means too much. He had conceived it to be his duty, consistently with what he owed to the country and to the Crown, to lay the whole proposition before the House.
§ Mr. Goulburn
supported the proposition of Lord Althorp. He contended, that that was not the time for opposing the grant. The more regular way would be, at the proper period, to object to any of the separate items, instead of opposing the gross sum called for as necessary for the support of his Majesty's Household. With respect to the sum of 75,000l. for pensions, it appeared that the sum itself was not objected to; but the question was, whether it should be placed on one fund or another? As to the effort made for the reduction of salaries in the Committee, it had nothing to do with the present question. The proposition was not now, to continue salaries to the Lord Chamberlain or the Lord Steward—it was, to grant a certain allowance to his Majesty; and, doubtless, when the salaries referred to came to be examined, they would be reduced as others were. It should be observed, that on all former occasions, when the maintenance of the royal establishment was brought before Parliament, the Crown had great hereditary revenues to meet its expenses: but this was the first instance in which the Crown had deprived itself of the necessary aids; and it became the duty of Parliament to the Monarchy, and to the country, to make good that deficit, and to provide for the extraordinary expenditure of the Crown.
Mr. R. Gordon
was happy to find the 973 right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn) returning good for evil, in his support of this Motion, since it was upon a proposition closely connected with the present question that he had been obliged to quit office. He was of opinion, however, that the argument of the right hon. Gentleman was not a good one, for he seemed to think that the sum proposed to be deducted should be allowed to remain, as a sort of contingent fund. The hon. Gentleman referred to several passages from the report of the Committee, and argued, that various propositions for reductions which were made in the Committee ought to have been carried. He thought that the House ought not to increase the revenue of the Crown, because the King had granted the great question of Reform, a question which he had as much at heart as any man,—ay, even as his Majesty's Ministers, who had brought it forward.
said, that he was inclined to place his confidence in his noble friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, placing that confidence in him, he must say, that he did not think it prudent to make the reduction which had been recommended by the Committee. When he took into his consideration the amount of this sum, he could not help feeling that it was not incumbent to make this reduction, especially when it was to trench upon the revenue of a Sovereign who was the object of admiration of all his subjects, from one end of the country to the other. He felt that it would be most ungracious in the House to accede to the retrenchment which was now proposed.
§ Mr. Hunt
said, that the Government, in supporting this amount of Civil List, was acting in direct contradiction to the principles of economy upon which they had come into office. If this reduction of 12,000l. were likely to affect the comforts of his Majesty in the slightest degree, he would be one of the last men in the House to vote for it; but it would do no such thing. It would only reduce the salaries of the Lord Chamberlain, and of other high Officers of State, who did not, or at least who ought not, to require any such emoluments. This sum of 12,000l. was twice the amount of the salary paid to the President of the United States of America [cries of "Oh, oh."]. Gentlemen might cry Oh! oh! as long as they pleased, but the fact which he had just stated was undeniable. He appealed to the members of his 974 Majesty's Government personally, and asked them, whether they would oppose the recommendation of a Select Committee which they had themselves appointed, and which they had gained by a vote of the House which had turned their predecessors out of office [loud coughing]. He heard one Gentleman coughing most loudly; it was clear that he had gone far beyond his lozenge-box. He hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not accede to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman (the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer), who merely wished to get him into the same scrape which had turned his colleagues out of power.
§ Sir G. Warrender
was of opinion, that the sum which it was now proposed to vote was not too much, but too little, for the just support of his Majesty's dignity.
§ Mr. R. Palmer
thought, that the Committee had sat for very little purpose, if the House would not second the recommendation which it had made. He suggested that this sum of 10,500l. should be added to the third class of expenses in the Civil List.
rose for the purpose of noticing an observation which had fallen from the hon. member for Preston. The hon. Member had asked, what was the principle on which the present Ministry had come into office, and had wished to have it understood, that the question then before the House was, whether a Republican or Monarchical form of Government was the cheapest.
wished to know, if that was not the meaning of the hon. member for Preston, what was his meaning when he was talking about this sum, 12,000l., being twice the amount of the salary paid to the President of the United States. God forbid that they should ever come to discuss in that House, whether they should have a Monarchical or a Republican form of Government, on the mere consideration of pounds, shillings, and pence. The blessings which we enjoyed under our Monarchical Government would be cheaply purchased, even by paying annually the difference between 6,000l. and 510,000l. 975 He admitted that the question on which the late Administration had been turned out was a question as to the appointment of a Select Committee. But what was that Select Committee for? The members of his Majesty's present Government had, when in Opposition, objected to having a million of money granted to the Crown, and placed beyond the control of Parliament; and it was upon the propriety of that objection, that the House had divided, when the late Government refused to refer the Estimates of the Civil List to the investigation of a Select Committee. The present Government had acted up to the principles which its members had professed when in Opposition. They had withdrawn a large sum from the hands of the Crown, and had placed it under the direct control of Parliament; and by so doing had taken the best and most effectual mode of reducing the amount of the Civil List. Besides, when it was said that the present Government had made no reduction in the amount of the Civil List, he would ask the House whether they had not made some diminution in the Pension List? Had there not been a saving of nearly half the amount of that List? Was it to be said, that when there was a contingent reduction of 75,000l. a-year in pensions, that no reduction had been made or contemplated? The late Administration had proposed a Civil List on as low an Estimate as they well could, if credit were to be given to their professions. The present Administration had proposed a Civil List on an Estimate still lower, and the Committee now came forward with a Report, telling the House that the utmost reduction which they could make upon that Estimate, without leaving a Contingency Fund, was 12,000l. When so poor a modification as 12,000l. was made on so large a sum as 510,000l., he could not help thinking that it would be an insult to his Majesty to agree to such a modification.
§ Mr. Goulburn
observed, that in the speech which he had just made, he had waived all allusion to questions which were in controversy between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and himself; but when he took that line of argument, he did expect that the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman would have equally avoided all controversial questions. He denied that any large saving had been made by the present Government in the 976 Civil List Estimates. Indeed, the noble Chancellor of the Exchequer had, with his usual candour, admitted, on a former occasion, that all the saving which he had been able to make was not more than 20,000l. He put it to the right hon. Gentleman, whether it was fair to say that the Civil List of the late Government was 1,000,000l., and that the Civil List of the present Government was only 500,000l.? He was prepared to contend, that the difference of amount between the noble Lord's estimate of the Civil List and his own was very trifling indeed.
contended, that his hon. friend (Mr. Goulburn) had fallen into very considerable mistakes on this subject. He denied, that the proposition now brought forward by the present Government was the same as that which had been brought forward by the late Government. He considered the question of money to be a mere secondary consideration, compared with the important point of bringing the amount of the Civil List under the control of Parliament.
said, he should continue to oppose the proposed increase of 10,000l., which he conceived would only go into the pocket of the Duke of Devonshire.
said, that allusion having been made, in the course of the discussion, to the member for Queen's County (Sir Henry Parnell), he had that hon. Baronet's authority to state, that he had taken no part in the drawing up of the Report of the Committee.
Mr. O' Connell
considered the whole matter a mystification; and he called on the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) to state how he could justify the vote of 10,000l., which was to be considered as a contingent sum, and not applicable to any-specific purpose.
Sir J. Graham
considered it highly necessary to vote this contingent sum, if it was so to be called; because, if the allowance to the Crown was pared down to the lowest possible rate, the Crown might get into debt, which would lead to the worst thing that could happen—the dependence of the Sovereign on that House.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
considered the conduct of Ministers, with regard to the Civil List, perfectly consistent with the course they had pursued respecting the memorable Budget. He could not vote for the pro- posed contingent fund, unless he had a guarantee that it would not be applied in 977 payment of the salaries of the household officers.
Sir R. Inglis
said, the subject ought not to be considered as a political or party one, but as a compact between the House and the Crown. He believed, that if the amount of hereditary revenue sacrificed by the Sovereign were compared with the amount of the Civil List, it would be found that the nation had greatly benefitted by the proceeding.
Lord John Russell
thought it best to agree to the whole vote, as proposed by the Government. He thought that so much confidence was due to the Sovereign on the Throne. There was a great difference between a Sovereign disposed to make every economical arrangement that was necessary, and to renounce any sum that might be considered improper, and a Sovereign who directed his Ministers to propose extravagant sums, which were beyond the means of the people to pay.
§ Sir M. W. Ridley
did not consider the House bound by the decision of the Committee; and considering the sum of 510,000l. not too much for the Civil List, he should vote for the grant proposed by Ministers.
stated, that all he had heard induced him to persevere in his Motion. He would not, however, at that late hour of the night, press the question to a division; but would reserve to himself the right to do so on bringing up the Report.
§ The Resolution agreed to, without a division. The other Resolutions were postponed at the suggestion of Mr. Hume, and the House resumed.