§ The House, on the Motion of Lord Althorp, went into Committee on the Civil List.
§ Lord Althorp
said, before entering upon the subject of the charges for the Civil Government, I have to make an apology to the House for having so long postponed bringing this subject forward. But the state of public business has been such that I found it impossible to get an opportunity of doing so. I have also to apologize for having brought it forward at this late period of the Session, and I should not have done so had I not felt, that this House ought not to separate without settling this great and important question. Indeed, I may say that the House is bound to settle it, in consequence of the pledges given to his Majesty. I must claim the indulgence of the House, as, in consequence of the great number of topics which I shall have to advert to, I fear I shall have to trespass on its attention at some length. The circumstances which have led to the bringing this subject under the attention of Parliament are perfectly well known. From the present Civil List Act a large portion of those items which were formerly in the Civil List were excluded, with a view to bringing them under the cognizance of Parliament, and to relieve the Sovereign from appearing to receive from Parliament a larger amount than he really did. With those feelings this portion of the Civil List was referred to a Committee up-stairs, which made a Report to the House last year, and in conformity with the recommendations in that Report, I now rise to ask the House to make permanent provision for those charges for the civil Government, which were formerly in the Civil List. It is on the Report of the Committee that the plan which the Government now has to propose is founded; and the following are the items embraced in it. First, the salaries of the Judges of England and Ireland, including the salaries of the Lord Chancellors of both countries; secondly, the diplomatic expenditure; thirdly, the pensions and the Civil List; fourthly, the salary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; fifthly, the allowance of salaries in England, Ireland, and Scotland; sixthly, the salary of the Speaker of the House of Commons; and seventhly, the Lord Chancellor's salary, 941 as Speaker of the House of Lords. To take the first charge, I shall commence with the salary of the Lord Chancellor of England. It is proposed to fix the general salary of the Lord Chancellor at 14,000l., of which about 4,000l. will be as Speaker of the other House. It was thought expedient with respect to the fees received by the Speaker of the House of Lords, and the salary of that officer, that the subject should not originate here, as it might be deemed an improper interference with the privileges of their Lordships. Nothing has hitherto been arranged in the House of Lords upon the subject; but I have no hesitation in saying, that it is intended to propose that the Speaker in the other House should receive 4,000l. a-year. The Lord Chancellor is also to receive 10,000l. a-year from the Suitors' Fund, and all the fees he now receives will be carried to the account of that fund; and the Lord Chancellor will be relieved of the charge of 5,000l. a-year given now to the Vice Chancellor, and in lieu of this being received from the Suitors' Fund, it will be paid out of the Consolidated Fund. The proposed retiring pension for the Lord Chancellor is 5,000l. a year, though my noble and learned friend has desired me to state, that in the event of his quitting office before this increase shall be sanctioned by Parliament, he will not consent to receiving it himself. It is now proposed, with respect to the Speaker of the House of Commons, that his salary should be charged in one sum on the Consolidated Fund, instead of on different funds, as heretofore. We also propose, that the whole of the salaries of the Judges should be charged on the Consolidated Fund. The House is aware that, on the 16th of November, 1828, it was understood that all Judges subsequently appointed should only receive 5,000l. a-year, the salary previously being 5,500l. a-year. Four Judges have been appointed on those terms, three additional Judges having been created in consequence of the abolition of the Welch Judges, all of whom understand that their salary is to be 5,000l. With respect to the Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer, it was recommended by the Committee that that office should be abolished, and during the life of the present holder no alteration will be made as to the fund on which the salary is charged. The next point is the Judge of the Admiralty Court in Ireland. 942 At the Union it was settled that that office should be preserved; the salary, however, which was then 500l. a year, has since been raised to 1,000l.; which, looking at the business to be done by that Court, appears to me to be much too high a rate of payment. Since, therefore, we are bound to preserve the office, I think that we are fully justified in reducing it to its former standard of 500l. The Lord Lieutenant's salary, as the House is aware, was 30,000l. a year Irish, or 27,692l. English. When, however, the Duke of Northumberland accepted the office, he proposed, in consequence of the depressed state of the country, to strike off the odd 7,692l., and reduce the income to 20,000l., which was accordingly done, and the continuation of which arrangement I intend to propose. I now come to that point on which I know I have the misfortune to differ from several hon. Gentlemen who sit on this side of the House. I mean the question of pensions. I have heard that question argued in this House, and have read arguments on the subject in print directly adverse to my views; but I am bound to say, that I still remain of opinion, that if we take advantage of the technical fact that these pensions are granted during pleasure, we shall, as the Representatives of a great country, be taking an advantage most unworthy of us, because I believe that nothing can be more detrimental to the honour of England, than to act contrary to a pledge and promise in consequence of having a mere technical excuse. This appears to me so clearly to be a debt of honour, that whatever I may think of some of the appointments, I feel bound, as a gentleman, not to consent to the taking away of these pensions so long as I shall be a Minister of the Crown; therefore, however much I may regret such a charge in our present state of financial difficulty, I shall act up to the doctrine I have now laid down, however unpopular it may be. When the Civil List was referred to the Committee, the charge for pensions on it was, for England, 73,695l., for Scotland, 30,467l., and for Ireland, 51,155l. But there is another class of pensions, some of which have a still stronger claim on the country. These are the pensions which have been granted on the four-and-a half per cent, duties, which duties belonged exclusively to the Crown, until they were given up to the public by his present Majesty on his accession to the throne. Some of these are 943 pensions for life, and some during pleasure; and according to strict interpretation, the pensions for life were so charged, that it was not in the King's power to give them up; and, therefore, when these duties were transferred to the public, they were still made subject to these pensions. The pensions during pleasure, were of course, on the same footing as the similar pensions charged on the Civil List. Up to the 9th of George 4th.; the Monarch had an unbounded power over these four-and-a half per cents.; but, by an arrangement then made, it was settled that no more pensions should be charged on that fund until it was sufficient to cover the expenses of the Bishops and Clergy of the West Indies. Up to the present time it has not been sufficient for that; but the amount has been made up from other droits of the Crown, which, though at one time profitable, I am bound to state will produce but little. Under these circumstances, I do not see how I can hold these pensions to be different from those charged on the Civil List. The amount of these pensions is 22,295l.; and of this sum, 11,468l. are for life-pensions, one of which is a grant in perpetuity made by Charles 2nd to Lord Carew and his descendants for ever. According to an arrangement made, the Scotch pensions were to be reduced to 27,620l., until which time the King was only to have power to grant to the amount of 800l. a-year; and the Irish pensions to 39,900l., until which time the King was only to have power to grant to the amount of 1,200l. a-year. The whole amount of the pensions on the Civil List was 155,000l.; in the present Civil List, the whole sum to be allowed is 75,000l., which certainly must be admitted on all hands to be a great sacrifice on the part of the Crown. Adding the pensions on the Civil List to those on the four-and-a-half per cent duties together, the total amount was 177,612l. and, therefore, by reducing the sum to 75,000l., we shall be effecting a saving of 102,612l. Of this, however, I have no right to claim the whole credit, for the right hon. Gentleman who preceded me agreed to reduce the amount to 145,750l.; so that from this it appears, that the a-mount of my reduction is 70,750l. The mode in which we decided which of the pensions should be borne by the Civil List, and which by the public, was by placing the whole of the names of the pensioners alphabetically, and by taking 944 from the top as many as amounted to 75,000l. for the Civil List, leaving the remainder for the Consolidated Fund. According to this arrangement, from the letter A, to about the middle of the H were found to be chargeable on the Civil List. The amount of the pensions excluded from the Civil List was 80,952l.; but since that time there has fallen to the public the sum of 6,649l. a-year, partly by resignations and partly by deaths, a fact which is already sufficient to show that the arguments of those who contended that there would be no economy in this plan, were not founded in truth. According to this statement, the Committee will perceive that there now remains chargeable on the Consolidated Fund the sum of 74,303l., to which we have to add the sum of 10,826l. chargeable on the four-and-a-half per cent, duties, making altogether 85,129l. The next point to which I have to call the attention of the Committee is the Diplomatic Expenditure. Heretofore, the salaries of our diplomatic agents were subject to deductions for the land-tax and the eighteen-penny tax. These deductions were repaid to those who were in active service out of the civil contingencies; but the deductions from the pensions were not so paid. This mode of repayment seems to me to be exceedingly operose and useless, and I shall therefore propose to pay the salaries in full, without reduction, and the nett pensions after the usual deductions, by which means I think that we shall be avoiding much complication of account. The charge in the Civil List under this head has hitherto been 144,950l. for active service, and 52,000l. for pensions, subject to the deductions I have already explained, which together amount to 196,950l.; but in addition to the 144,950l. for active service, there have been the salaries for our agents at Chili, Peru, Buenos Ayres, and other places provided for in another way, making the whole charge for the active diplomatic service 167,450l. On this sum we have been able to effect a saving of 27,450l., by which the amount is reduced to 140,000l. The amount of the pensions on the Diplomatic Service was recommended by the Finance Committee to be reduced to 40,000l., with an arrangement, that till that reduction is effected not more than 2,000l. a-year is to be granted in addition to the present amount. I am, however, here bound to state, that I am 945 afraid that this arrangement cannot be strictly adhered to, as the Government has already found itself placed in difficulty by it. I need not tell the House that nothing is so important as that our diplomatic agents should be persons towards whom the Government shall be able to feel the most complete confidence. This being the case, I have to state, that at the present moment there are persons returned from abroad, their duties being concluded, and who, on every account, have a fair and a just claim on the consideration of the country. Under these circumstances, it will be necessary for me to propose that the pensions to be granted to these persons be added to the 40,000l. already mentioned by me; after which we shall endeavour, as far as possible, to adhere to the recommendation of the Finance Committee. The present amount of the Pension List, without reductions, is 56,810l.; but I ought to state, that some of the pensioners are very old lives, and that, consequently, there is every prospect of a very rapid saving accruing to the public. The next point I have to submit to the Committee, is the ancient salaries and allowances formerly paid from the Civil List of England. The mode in which this Bill is to be drawn up is to provide for these during the existence of the present interests, leaving the remainder of the question entirely open, without prejudicing it in any way. When the whole of these arrangements shall come into operation, there will altogether be a saving to the public of 252,000l. The amount proposed to be saved by the right hon. Gentleman who preceded me was 162,000l., although, in fact, the real saving, according to the right hon. Gentleman's plan, would only have been 123,000l. I now beg to move, that it is the opinion of this Committee, that there be issued to the Speaker of the House of Commons, out of the Consolidated Fund, the sum of 6,000l. a-year, in lieu of the fees and other allowances by which that sum has hitherto been made up.
said, that, in accordance with the recommendation of the Finance Committee, it was proper that the salary of the Speaker should be paid entirely out of the Consolidated Fund, instead of being partly defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund, and partly from fees. He, therefore, approved of that proposition. He was also favourable to the arrangement 946 with respect to the Judges. Those created previous to 1828 were to receive 5,500l. a-year, and those raised to the Bench since that period were to have 5,000l. a-year. The noble Lord had not, however, stated what was intended to be done with reference to the Scotch Judges. Their case had been brought before different Governments, and it was allowed on all hands to be one of great hardship. He did think, that when the noble Lord brought forward a proposition for a certain reduction of the salary of the English Judges, he might with great propriety have noticed the situation of the Scotch Judges, who were insufficiently paid, and whose duties had been lately increased. The next point was an arrangement of the Lord Chancellor's salary; and he understood from the noble Lord, that no part of that salary was to be charged on the Consolidated Fund, but that the retiring salary was to be defrayed out of that fund. Now, he could see no reason why, in that respect, the Lord Chancellor of England should be placed in a different situation from the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, or the other Judges of the realm. To suffer that salary to be paid out of the Suitors'. Fund was contrary to the recommendation of the Finance Committee. He understood also, that the Chancellor's retiring pension was hereafter to be 5,000l. instead of 4,000l. a year. He certainly was anxious that officers holding high judicial situations should receive an ample retiring allowance; but he did not like the principle of increasing that allowance on the ground of the insufficiency of the salary which they received while in office. By taking that course, a temptation was afforded for quitting office on the retiring allowance, sooner than an individual would perhaps otherwise do. That would be attended with considerable inconvenience, inducing changes, and it was of importance that there should be as few changes in the office of Lord Chancellor as possible. The Chancellor must of course retire upon a change of Administration; but, except in that instance, he thought it was for the public benefit that the Chancellor should not be often changed, but that an opportunity should be given him to make himself perfect master of all the duties connected with his office. He should prefer giving an additional salary to the Chancellor rather than patronage, 947 or a small additional increase of the retiring pension, because out of a handsome additional increase of salary a Chancellor could better make some sort of provision for those who came after him. In his opinion, a retiring pension of 4,000l. a-year was an adequate remuneration, and had never been complained of as too little by those who had held the Great Seal. As to the proposition respecting the salary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, it met with his entire concurrence. No man who knew the nature of the situation could doubt that the salary was not too much. He found that the diplomatic expenditure was to be reduced to 140,000l. a-year, and the pensions connected with that branch to 50,000l. a-year. Now he could not see how it was possible to keep those pensions within the limit of 46,000l. or 50,000l. a-year. The amount must be determined by circumstances. He entirely agreed with the noble Lord that it was not economy, but a want of economy, not to reward high diplomatic characters liberally. Therefore he would not confine the expenditure for pensions to 50,000l., or to any other specific sum. He was of opinion, however, that individuals might be found in the receipt of pensions who were perfectly competent to undertake diplomatic missions. If they were employed, the pension list would be relieved to that extent. Whatever might be the popular feeling against pensions, he thought that the noble Lord in continuing them, had acted not only wisely, but justly. With respect to the general principles which the noble Lord had laid down, he approved of them, and no man would be found a warmer supporter of those principles than himself.
Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
could not admit that the retiring pension of the Lord Chancellor was too high, and approved of making the retiring pensions for the Judges different from the retiring pension of the Lord Chancellor. The Judges, when appointed, were not removed, whereas the Lord Chancellor was liable to be removed at every change of Administration. He would take that opportunity of reminding the noble Lord that the salary of the Scotch Judges ought to be raised. It was understood that this would be done when the salaries of the English Judges were raised in 1825. They were entitled, at least, to one half as much as the English Judges. When the salary of 948 the English Judges was 4,000l. a-year that of the Scotch was 2,000l. Now that the salary of an English Judge was 5,500l., that of a Scotch Judge should be, at least, half as much. It should be recollected, that their business had much increased, for the number of Judges was reduced from fifteen to thirteen. The Scotch Judges did not intrude their case upon the House, and, for that reason, they had a still stronger claim. He knew many of them, and they were as eminent in their profession as any men in Europe. They were selected by the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) in a manner highly honourable to him, not from political considerations, but in consequence of their fitness for the office. The present Government pursued the same course. He hoped, late as it was, that even the present Session would not pass away without seeing justice done to those learned and eminent men.
§ Sir Edward Sugden
fully concurred with the hon. Gentleman who spoke last. The Scotch Judges ought to be placed, in point of salary, in a situation that would enable them to support their rank and make provision for their families, taking care, at the same time, never to raise the salary beyond what it ought fairly to be, considering the nature and importance of the duty. The great object was, to make the salary of Judges such as would induce them not to look beyond their present station. They should be selected, not from political considerations, but in consequence of their judicial talent and experience. During the Duke of Wellington's Administration, though, of course, he had nothing to do with the appointments, he had opportunities of knowing that no inquiry was ever made into the political connections of Judges, and that those persons were selected to fill the office who it was supposed were most likely to adorn it. The same rule should be observed with respect to the Lord Chancellor; but, as matters now stood, it was impossible, because his office was a political, as well as judicial, one. He was not favourable to a large retiring allowance, and if the patronage of the Chancellor was not to be taken away, he should not be disposed to increase the allowance. Under the circumstances, however, it appeared to him that 5,000l. a-year was a proper remuneration. As to the salary of 14,000l. a-year, it was, certainly, a large sum, perhaps a little too much, but not a great deal too much, con- 949 sidering the heavy and important duties of the office. Before they came to any decision as to the salary, it would be desirable to know what had been the average income of the office for fourteen or fifteen years back, and what the present emoluments of it. They would then be better able to judge of what amount the salary ought to be. As to the fund whence the salary was to be drawn, there would be time enough for considering that when the Bill was brought in. He should object to its being drawn out of the Suitors' Fund, while there was a possibility that a call might be made upon it for distribution among the suitors. It should be first made apparent that there was no person living who had claims on the fund before it was disposed of in salaries. Any part of it to which there were no claimants, he could have no objection to see disposed of in the payment of the Lord Chancellor's salary, or the salaries of other Judges. Nothing could be more injurious to the administration of justice than to give the least ground for supposing that any, the smallest portion, of the Lord Chancellor's salary was drawn from a fund to which individuals had any claim. There was one purpose to which he thought a portion of the fund might very properly be applied. There were in Chancery many small sums belonging to persons who were entitled to receive them, but were prevented from making the application in consequence of the expense they must incur, more perhaps than equivalent to the amount. Though small these sums, they might be of great importance to those who were entitled to them, and it would be very desirable if by some means they might be enabled to draw them out without this expense. He begged to say that, in any observations which fell from him upon this occasion, he did not allude to the present or to any other Chancellor. He spoke in reference only to the office.
§ Mr. Sinclair
thought, as 4,000l. a-year was considered sufficient for the retiring pension of the Lord Chancellor when the currency was depreciated, that sum might well now be sufficient. He did not, however, rise so much to object to the Lord Chancellor's salary as to say that he cordially joined in the opinion of his hon. and learned friend, regarding the Scotch Judges, and he begged leave to recommend their case to the consideration of the House.
§ Mr. Spence
said, that as this was the last 950 opportunity he might ever have of addressing a House of Commons, he wished to say a few words as to the delay which had taken place in introducing the measures for remedying the abuses of the Court of Chancery. The Lord Chancellor had called in several gentlemen to his aid, who had discussed in his presence the proposals for remedying the evils of the Court of Chancery.
§ Mr. Spence
continued He was himself one of the persons called upon by the Lord Chancellor, and he might also mention Mr. Duckworth, than whom there was no person, he believed, more competent to give advice. The result of the deliberations of those Gentlemen who had been called upon to assist the Lord Chancellor was, that it had been determined to introduce a much more extensive plan of Chancery Reform than that which had been proposed by his hon. and learned friend (Sir Edward Sugden). He (Mr. Spence) had previously proposed a measure for remedying some part of the abuses of the Court of Chancery, but he found some difficulty in bringing it forward; and it had, therefore, been suggested that he should bring forward in that House the general measure sanctioned by the Lord Chancellor. That general measure, he was enabled to state, had been prepared, and would very shortly be laid on the Table of one or other of the Houses of Parliament. It would have been introduced before now in the House of Lords, but that it had been prevented by the discussions on the Reform Bill. It had been stated in the newspapers, that he (Mr. Spence) was the person to whom it was owing that the Bill had not been brought forward. He, certainly, was the cause of its not having been brought in from the 10th to the 26th of July. The Lord Chancellor had desired him (Mr. Spence) to add a clause, creating an appellate jurisdiction, and he had not been able to prepare that clause. His hon. and learned friend seemed to think it strange that he should not have been able to prepare that clause in so long an interval. The fact, however, was, that it was thought necessary the Lord Chief Baron should sit as one of the Judges in the Court of Appeal; and to carry that arrangement into effect, it became necessary to re-model the whole of the offices connected with the Court of Exchequer—a circumstance which he thought satisfactorily accounted 951 for the difficulty to which he had adverted. From the moment he had had the honour of a seat in that House, he had directed his attention to the evils connected with the Court of Chancery; and he need hardly assure the Committee, that he was not disposed to delay a moment longer than was necessary, the introduction of a Bill to alter and regulate all the offices connected with the Court of Chancery. Though, most probably, he should not have any personal share in carrying through the Bill in the next Parliament, yet he was satisfied that the Lord Chancellor's Bill was such a one as a Reformed Parliament might justly and safely carry into effect; and he confidently hoped that his opinion, as to its merits, would be confirmed by that of the House.
§ Lord Althorp
thought the Committee had got into a subject very wide of the Resolution. The question of the Scotch Judges had nothing to do with it, and before their salaries could be augmented, an inquiry must be made. [Some hon. Member said, one had already been made.] Certainly, he believed it had, and he was led to believe, that in Scotland the general feeling was, that the Judges were not underpaid. In deciding upon the salary of the Lord Chancellor he had followed the recommendation of the Salaries' Committee. He also thought the retiring salary of 5,000l. per annum was not too much, under all circumstances. It might be as well to mention that the Bill to be brought in in pursuance of the Resolutions of the Committee, was a bill for regulating the salary of the Chancellor, and not for Reform in the Court of Chancery: that was a subject which required a larger and more comprehensive measure.
§ Mr. Harvey
regretted that the Bill would not extend to a Reform of some of the many abuses existing in the Court of Chancery, as well as to settling the Chancellor's salary. There would not have been much difficulty in making it extend to some of those abuses. It seemed as though disappointment and the Court of Chancery were synonymous terms. They had heard from the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Spence) that he would not condescend again to return to the House, and that he thought it too late in the Session to introduce any of those measures which the Lord Chancellor had commissioned him to draw up for the Reform of the Court. Thus it was with 952 that Court. At one time it was too late, at another too early in a Session, to introduce measures for its Reform. He supposed, after all, it was to be left to some tyro of Reform to pick up the fragments of the hon. and learned Gentleman's more magnificent conceptions, and throw them into the shape of a Bill, with as many clauses and as interminable as a Bill in Chancery. He had sat five Parliaments in that House, and upon no subject had he heard so much from the Whigs as the necessity of a Reform in this Court; nor was there one upon which the noble and learned Lord, now at the head of that Court was so strongly pledged as this. His predecessor had been characterised as a man of whose mind tardiness was the emblem. But the present noble and learned Lord had been two years in his place, without there being the slightest prospect of any of those amendments which he had so frequently declared were not only indispensable, but were also easy of execution. He (Mr. Harvey) was convinced that it required little more than honesty of purpose, and a competent understanding of the business, to effect all the necessary changes. He did not impute the contrary of these qualities to the Lord Chancellor; but if they were to have any Reform of that Court, they must not listen to the declarations of the hon. and learned Members of that House, who could be brought to see nothing but difficulties and delicacies in the way. He had daily experience on the subject; and he must say, that at no time was the Court of Chancery in a worse state than at the present moment. From the commencement of a suit—he could not say, its end, because an end was seldom attained—but from the commencement, through its progress, there was not such a libel on justice as the manner in which a Chancery suit was conducted. They were told of the difficulties in the way of amendment—it was said, how could it be cured? A firm mind and a honest intention was, in his opinion, all that was wanting to effect that great object. Let half-a-dozen men who had retired from practice be appointed as Commissioners, with something like 1,200l. a-year salary, and in about twelve months they would convert the Court of Chancery into what it professed to be, but what it was not, namely, a Court of Equity. His noble friend had defended the amount of salary given to the Lord Chancellor by 953 comparing it with the Chief Justice's salary of 10,000l. If they instituted a comparison between the two salaries only, he did not think the amount given to the Lord Chancellor too much, but he did not think the Chief Justice ought to have so much as 10,000l. a-year. He was one of those who thought that no man, in any situation whatever, ought to have so large a salary as 10,000l. a-year. It was also to be remembered that the noble Lord, who now occupied the office of Lord Chancellor, had always contended, and with irresistable force of argument, in favour of the separation of the offices of Lord Chancellor and Speaker of the House of Lords. If he was sincere, which he could not doubt, then before long the judicial office of Chancellor would be separated from the political one; and as it would then, he presumed, become permanent, it ought not to be better paid than the office of Lord Chief Justice. His regret was, that the people's hopes should be again disappointed for another Session.
§ Resolution agreed to.
§ A Resolution was proposed to grant the sum of 20,000l. per annum for the salary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,
§ Mr. Sinclair
objected. He thought the office ought to be altogether abolished. It tended only to foment dissensions, and keep up the political spirit of party. It would be much better that its duties should be delegated to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. He begged leave to move that it is expedient to abolish the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
§ Lord Althorp
agreed with his hon. friend, that a time might arrive when it would be advisable to abolish that office, and put the government of Ireland on the same footing as that of Scotland. But under present circumstances, and considering the existing state of Ireland, he thought such a step could not be taken with prudence. The possibility of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland being influenced by local politics was the main reason why he agreed with his hon. friend.
§ Mr. Leader
said, that he believed that his Majesty's present Administration found it hard enough to govern Ireland with a Lord Lieutenant, and he saw little prospect of their governing at all without one. A miserable economy was the only principle which appeared to characterise every proposal 954 regarding Ireland. Did the House wish to know the cause of the afflicted state of Ireland? If it did, he could tell it that the war of poverty against property, arising from want of employment, was at the bottom of all the disturbances. There was one ruling sentiment, the cause of which was long continued bad government. What did the country require? That the landed proprietors should return, and discharge the duty of proprietors. What was likely to induce some proprietors to return and others to remain? Undoubtedly the residence of a Lord Lieutenant contributed to that end. Was not absenteeism the curse of the country? When Gentlemen spoke of governing Ireland like Scotland, they forgot the difference of the population, and the calamities which were induced by a train of evils which proceeded from bad government and dissension, perpetuated for the worst and basest of purposes. It was idle to speak of savings—the thing to speak of was the making the government popular with the people. If hon. Gentlemen chose to make proposals for removing the Lord Lieutenant, they might prepare speeches for opposing the Repeal of the Union, for undoubtedly there would be nothing better to make every Irishman a repealer than the removal of the Lord Lieutenant.
§ Mr. Courtenay
meant to confine his observations to the question before the Committee. He had expected that the noble Lord would have taken this opportunity of explaining the principles on which he had divided the expenses of the Civil Government, some being charged on the Consolidated Fund, whilst others depended upon the annual votes of Parliament. From what he had been able to see, he could not find out upon what principle the noble Lord had proceeded. What reason was there, for instance, for the salary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland being chargeable upon the Consolidated Fund, whilst that of the Secretary of State for the Home Department was to be annually voted by the House? There were many other points connected with this Bill to which he should have wished to advert; but, like his right hon. friend near him, he was not aware of the Committee coming on, and was not prepared.
§ The resolution agreed to; as were the following:—1. "To enable his Majesty to charge the Consolidated Fund with a sum 955 not exceeding 235,510l to defray the salaries of his diplomatic servants at present employed at foreign courts, and of such as may be hereafter employed there.—2. To enable his Majesty to charge the Consolidated Fund with the sum of 85,222l. to pay those Pensions which, previous to his Majesty's accession, were chargeable on the Civil Lists of England and Ireland, on the hereditary revenues of Scotland, and on the four-and-a-half per cent duties, and for which no provision has been made in the Civil List granted to his Majesty.—3. To enable his Majesty to charge the Consolidated Fund with the sum of 20,309l. to pay those salaries and allowances which, previous to his accession, had been chargeable on the Civil List of England and Ireland, and the hereditary revenues of Scotland.—4. To enable his Majesty to grant to any person filling the office of Lord High Chancellor of England, a contingent annuity of 5,000l. a-year, to take effect on his resignation of, or removal from such office—5. A resolution to enable his Majesty to pay out of the Consolidated Fund the several salaries of the Judges of the Courts of Law in Westminster Hall, and of the Courts of Law in Dublin."
§ The House resumed.