§ The House went in to a Committee of Supply.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
stated, that a sum of 2,189,772l. would be wanted for the Miscellaneous Estimates. He observed that they had been reduced this year by 115,600l., the largest reduction he believed which had ever been known to take place in this branch of the public expenditure. There was another point connected with the reduction in the estimates which he wished to impress upon the recollection of the House—it was, that the present was the first year in which no vote for army extraordinaries had been required. This 611 vote was one which was in a manner placed at the discretion of Government, and they were consequently desirous to limit it within as narrow bounds as possible. This they had done, and by a comparison with the votes of former years it would be found they had been successful. In 1829, it was 700,000l.; in 1830, 550,000l.: in 1831, 550,100l.; in 1832, 240,000l.; and in the present year, as he had stated, no vote at all was required. He felt the greatest satisfaction in being able to carry on this branch of the expenditure with the vote of last year. The Government had sufficient funds on hand without asking one farthing of the House. With respect to the first vote, he had to mention that the effective service commissariat had been diminished by 4,554l., and the non-effective by 3,500l. He moved that 29,395l. 7s. 10d. be granted for defraying the expenses of the Commissariat Department.
§ Mr. Hume
was happy to observe that Government had endeavoured to simplify the statement of the year's estimates. With respect to the particular vote, he would recommend its being referred to a Select Committee next Session, with a view of ascertaining whether it could not be still further reduced. He particularly alluded to the Commissariat Departments in Canada and New South Wales, which he thought far too large.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ On the Question that the sum of 46,050l. for the repairs, &c. of public buildings—for furniture, &c., for various public offices and departments—for certain charges for lighting, watching, &c., and also for the maintenance and repairs of royal palaces and works in the royal gardens, heretofore charged upon the Civil List, he granted,
§ Mr. Hume
said, that this vote raised the question as to how many palaces the country ought to build, or ought to keep in repair. It appeared to him, that there were many items in this estimate which might be dispensed with—he alluded especially to those charged for the keeping up palaces not necessary for the accommodation of the Sovereign and his family. He would refer, in the first instance, to Kew Palace. He did not see the necessity there was for keeping that up as a royal palace. He was aware that a portion of it was occupied by members of the royal family; but they had princely incomes, and princely residences elsewhere; and there was no necessity for keeping up that palace at the public expense for their accommodation. Then there was 612 Hampton-court Palace, kept up in the same way, and for the same purpose. Besides, he should like to know whether, when Buckingham Palace was finished, St. James's Palace was to be kept up in the same way that those other palaces were. If that should be the case, the result would be, that they would then have built a new palace for the Sovereign, and they would be put to the expense of keeping the old one, for which he would have no sort of use. In fact, the expense of keeping those palaces in repair was quite enormous. First, there was Windsor Castle; then there was Hampton Court; then Kew Palace; then Kensington Palace; then St. James's Palace; then the Royal Pavilion at Brighton; and lastly, Buckingham Palace, the building of which had cost so much; and for the maintenance of all these the country had to pay. Now, with the exception of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, he did not think that they were called upon to provide more residences for the royal family. Let those two palaces be maintained in sufficient splendor, but let not the public be bur thened with the expense of maintaining other palaces that were perfectly useless. The Government, in fact, must take some steps to bring this estimate down to what it ought to be—not more than 20,000l. per annum. There was no branch of the public expenditure which deserved more serious consideration than that connected with the various buildings belonging to the public offices. If Somerset-house could be made to accommodate all the public officers, which he believed it could if the Government took care not to fill up the vacancies as they fell out there, the public might sell off the buildings appropriated in different parts of the town to the various public offices, and thus get rid of the expense of keeping them in repair, and several other expenses connected with them. It appeared to him, in looking at this estimate, that by reducing the palaces to their proper number and expenses, and by dispensing with a variety of buildings that were not required for the public service, it might be reduced to about 20,000l. a-year.
said, that with respect to Somerset-house, the places occupied there by official persons, as they fell vacant, were not filled up. Nothing at present could be done towards rendering it fit for the accommodation of all the public offices until the repairs being made in the Stamp-office were finished. Arrangements, however, were in progress to render Somerset-house 613 fit for the accommodation of the various public offices that were now scattered in different parts of the town.
§ Mr. George F. Young
said, that he observed in this estimate an item of 2,680l. for completing the repairs of Whitehall Chapel. If, as it was stated the other evening by the noble Lord, it was the intention of Government to convert this chapel into a national gallery, might not this item be omitted in the estimate."
said, that this estimate had been prepared and laid before the House previous to the announcement to which the hon. Member had referred; and besides, much of it was for work that had already been executed.
§ Lord George Somerset
must regret the intention which the noble Lord had intimated on the part of Government, of converting this chapel into a national gallery. He for one must deprecate the turning a place of worship into a national gallery, and he must especially deprecate it when, as in this instance, no other place of worship was previously provided for those who had been in the habit of attending at this chapel.
said that upon a former evening he had not stated this arrangement as one suggested merely on economical grounds—he had stated it as one that recommended itself for adoption for the twofold reason, that a better gallery would be provided for the public, and at a more; economical price. Besides, this building had been always considered a most inappropriate one for a chapel. He believed, that so general was that feeling that upon a former occasion it had been proposed to convert it into a national library, and that the Bishop of the diocess had more than once stated that he did not regard it as a building properly calculated for a chapel. He could assure the noble Lord, upon the authority of persons who understood the subject well, that a better place, after certain alterations were made in it, could not be supplied for a national gallery than Whitehall Chapel.
§ Mr. Briscoe
was surprised at the extravagance of this estimate. Indeed, he had been surprised at it year after year, and he would move for some reduction in it now in order to take the sense of the House upon the subject. He saw amongst other items that the public were charged with the expense of maintaining the various kitchen-gardens attached to the royal palaces. He begged to move, as an Amend- 614 ment that the sum in this estimate be reduced to 41,050l.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
would briefly state a few facts to the House, which would prove, that this estimate had been framed upon the most economical principles. In the year 1831, when the first estimate on this subject was brought forward by the present Government, the amount of the vote was 66,675l. In the year 1832, that sum had been reduced to 57,357l.; in the year 1833 it had been reduced to 50,661l.; and the estimate now asked for the current year was so low as 46,050l. It appeared, then, from that statement that a reduction to the amount of 20,000l. had actually been made in this estimate in the course of three years. Originally it was 66,000l., but in consequence of measures which had since been adopted by his noble friend (Lord Duncannon), it was reduced to the amount he had mentioned. The result of the change made in the Civil List respecting those palaces was, that, at the time that change had been made, the charge for them amounted to 39,000l., and that the same service was now performed for an estimate not exceeding 22,670l., so that a reduction of about 16,329l. had been made in that portion of the vote. Such had been the result of the arrangements made by his noble friend in bringing this matter under the review of Parliament. He had one observation to make as to the number of palaces, in reply to what had fallen from the hon. member for Middlesex. Government had undoubtedly taken charge of the maintenance of them, and he would put it to the House whether the proprietors of great hereditary mansions would like to dispose of them, or allow them to fall into decay. It would not, surely, be a popular act on the part of such hereditary proprietors to dismantle those great mansions that had descended to them from their ancestors; and those palaces having descended as hereditary mansions to the Crown, the State should support them, and not allow them to fall into decay. It was true, that when the Government originally proposed to submit this item of the public expenditure to Parliament, they were told that Parliament would treat it with a parsimonious feeling. They rejected the idea then, at the same time that they felt that Parliament would, no doubt, desire that every degree of proper economy should be observed 615 upon the subject, and upon such principles the present estimate had been framed. It was surely, then, safer to go with the Government and vote for this estimate, than to vote for the capricious reduction proposed by the hon. member for Surrey.
§ Mr. Cobbett
would not vote for the Amendment proposed by the hon. member for Surrey, as he would rather have one single word of promise from the noble Lord opposite—one single intimation from him that he would do all he could to reduce this expenditure—than divide for so small a sum of money; and he would not vote for it also for this reason, that if he voted for the sum being 5,000l. less, he should be so far giving his sanction to an expenditure of which he could not altogether approve. Of this he was sure, that there was not a man in the kingdom who would grudge the King or the royal family any thing that was necessary to their splendor, pleasure, or magnificence. He spoke of the feelings of the people because he knew them to be such, but those feelings should not be shocked by flagrant expenditure and unfeeling waste. There was not a man in the kingdom, not even the poorest labourer, who would not gladly work a day extra rather than see St. James's Palace or Windsor Castle pulled down. He would not, however, say so of Buckingham Palace. No one would complain of its being pulled down. There was an enormous large sum expended upon a heap of marble at that palace which he had spent several mornings looking at, and he could make nothing of it. This 75,000l. amounted to a year's poor-rates for the county of Bedford, and to the wages of 3,500 labourers at 12s. a-week for twelve months. It was monstrous to fling the public money away in this manner. It was such things that made the people angry with the Government. If the noble Lord would pledge himself to reduce this expenditure as much as possible in future, he (Mr. Cobbett) would be content, and so would the people too.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that the hon. Member having thrown it upon him to give a pledge on this subject, he would only say that he thought what had just been stated by his hon. friend, the member for Cambridge was the best pledge that Government could possibly give of its intention 616 to follow up the principle of the strictest economy in reference to this estimate. What Ministers had done already was a better assurance than any promise he could give of what they were determined to do in future; and with regard to the building to which the hon. member for Oldham had referred, he might be perfectly assured that no such building had ever been authorized by his Majesty himself, or by any of his present advisers.
§ Sir Robert Inglis
said, that all the arguments of the hon. member for Middlesex and the hon. member for Oldham and others, on this subject, proceeded on the supposition that we were dealing liberally with the Crown in this instance, and that, in fact, we were making the Crown our debtor. Now, he would contend that we were giving nothing to the Crown to which the Crown was not fully entitled, and that the Crown owed nothing to the people in that respect. One fact would prove the truth of what he stated. When the Crown surrendered its hereditary revenues on the accession of George 3rd, a specific bargain was made with the Crown that all those matters should be provided for out of the Civil List. A return had been lately laid before the House, showing what had been the aggregate amount of the revenues thus relinquished by the Crown since that period, and, having referred to it since the commencement of this discussion, he would just state the result. It was this—that the hereditary revenues surrendered by the Crown from 1762 to the 30th of January, 1830 amounted to 94,871,451l. Deducting from that amount what might have been required for annuities, and the discharge of debts on the Civil List, which might be estimated at 65,000,000l., a balance of 29,000,000l. was left in favour of the people. Now, after that statement, he supposed it would not be thought too much to ask the people to pay 20,000l. a year for keeping those old palaces in repair. He hoped, under such circumstances, the amendment would not be pressed. With regard to the expense incurred for the arch, he was not prepared to defend it, but this he would say, that much good was done to the labouring and industrious classes of the country by an expenditure of that description; of course, he did not mean to say that that circumstance would justify a too large expendi- 617 ture of the public money. If the Government attempted to convert Whitehall Chapel into a national gallery, that accommodation could not be afforded to the Royal Academy which all seemed to think so desirable.
§ Mr. Briscoe
was willing to withdraw his Amendment on the understanding that Government would agree to the proposition of the hon. member for Middlesex.
§ Lord Althorp
observed that Govenment was doing everything in its power to reduce the expenditure, but he could give no specific promise on the subject.
stated, in reference to a former question of the hon. member for Middlesex, that nothing would be done for the conversion of Whitehall chapel into a national gallery without due consideration. It was necessary to make some arrangement on the subject of the grant at this late period of the Session, and the smaller sum had been proposed as most expedient, under all the circumstances. If the national gallery were not erected at Trafalgar-square, no appropriation of the ground would take place till the reassembling of Parliament.
§ The vote agreed to.
§ On the Resolution for granting 24,000l. for the expense of the new buildings at the British Museum.
§ Mr. Cobbett
complained that those were taxed to pay for the British Museum to whom it was inaccessible. He was certain that the House had not a moral right to grant away the public money in this way, and he even doubted whether it had the legal right. He admitted, that this system had a tendency to beautify and aggrandize this town; but he had observed that wherever such a system had been practised in past times, it had been the sure precursor of national downfall and ruin. How was all this show got up and paid for? By extorting the money from the pockets of the poor, who were not able to visit the Museum, and by extracting it from the pockets of the country gentlemen, who seldom, if ever, came up to London. With respect to the management of the Museum, he believed it to be as bad as bad could be. The officers of it were for the most part clergymen, who employed poor curates to perform their duty at their different livings, whilst they were living in indolence and affluence here in London. He knew that he was now telling truth, and, what was more, truth that was unpalatable. The House and the country, however, would 618 thank him for it hereafter; but whether they did or not, if nobody else in that House would tell disagreeable truths, he would. The country, he was sure, would profit from such a practice. The expenditure in the Museum was as profligate as profligate could be; and if the returns for which he was inclined to move were granted, he would undertake, to prove it.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
said, that it was very easy to make assertions, but not altogether so easy to prove them. He would take the hon. member for Oldham at his word; he should have the accounts to which he referred, and he should be placed in a situation to prove, if those accounts would let him prove, the misconduct of which he complained so vehemently. He begged to remind the Committee, that Government was not responsible for the management of the Museum; but, without knowing the trustees personally, he would say, from his general knowledge of their private characters, that he was quite sure that they would not sanction such proceedings as those which the hon. member for Oldham had announced. The hon. Member should have every account and disbursement for which he had asked. He (Mr. Rice) was not himself a trustee of the Museum, but, he felt that he was only performing his duty to the trustees of that institution when he gave the hon. Member that promise on their behalf. The hon. member for Oldham had availed himself of that opportunity to laud himself as the only person who dared to speak unpalatable truths in that House. That the statement which the hon. Member had made that evening was unpalatable he freely admitted; but whether it was the truth, he for one, knew not. The hon. Member said, that the poorer classes took no interest whatever in the Museum. Let the hon. Member go to the Museum on any public day, and he would find it crowded, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays, with members of the poorer lasses, who went there to see the works of art and science, which they had read of in the works of information which they had read on the previous Saturday. He would see that the pleasure derivable from the chefs d'æuvres of arts and science was not confined to the higher classes, but was extended even to those whom we were accustomed to consider as the lower classes of the community.
§ Mr. Cobbett
said, that he had neither criticised nor attacked the trustees of the Museum. He knew better—he knew that they knew nothing at all about its internal management. The hon. member for Cambridge was very angry with him for what he had just said—[Mr. Ricc: "No."] No? then it was much worse, for the hon. Gentleman must have feigned anger. If he were good humoured, let him seem so and be so. If the accounts of the British Museum were given to him, he would undertake to make them all up with ease in six hours; he would undertake to prove, that 16,000l. a-year was spent in that Museum in a way which the hon. Secretary would not even pretend to justify. He might be wrong in saying that none of the poor of this country derived any benefit from visiting the Museum. Perhaps the labouring classes of the metropolis might sometimes visit it; but the man who worked in the fields, at a distance from London, could not come up to view it; and why, therefore, should he be called upon to contribute to the payment of the expenses incurred in keeping it in order? At the present moment, when every man was exclaiming against the enormous amount of taxes which he had to pay, we ought not to be flinging away the money of the nation in the purchase of useless fineries. He had received a letter that morning from Hull, by which he heard that the people there had refused to pay the Assessed-taxes—that their goods had been seized, and exposed to sale—but that no one had come forward to purchase them. He would not give the Committee the trouble of dividing upon this grant; but he must say, that, in his opinion, this expenditure of 24,000l. was not as well managed as it ought to be.
§ Sir Charles Burrell
said, that he had been at the Museum that day. There were about 500 persons there at the same time, all of the poorer classes of the society. He never saw persons enjoying themselves more than they appeared to do in contemplating the curious productions of nature and art which were there submitted to their view. It was said, that the poorer classes in the more distant parts of England were prevented from visiting the Museum. This was to a certain extent true: but when rail-roads to and from the metropolis 620 were completed, he was convinced that not only the master manufacturers but also their artisans would avail themselves of that mode of conveyance to London in order to study the works of art now collected in the Museum. The late Mr. Wedgwood, the inventor of the pottery which went by his name, had repeatedly acknowledged with gratitude the great benefit which he had derived from the inspection of the works of art in London.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ The next Estimate was 40,000l. to defray the expense of repairs and alterations at Windsor Castle.
§ Mr. Cobbett
asked Ministers this question:—"Were there less than 10,000 men at this moment in gaol for fiscal exactions, and were there less than 10,000 families suffering in consequence of their imprisonment?." If the answer of Ministers were, as it ought to be, in the affirmative, then he would ask, was this the time for expending more money in altering and repairing Windsor Castle? For his own part, he believed that Windsor Castle was now much worse off than it was before its recent changes. To call this a Reformed Parliament, and in a Reformed Parliament to vote away money for a purpose like this was enough to make every Member ashamed to see himself if he only went out of the House by daylight. If we go on at this rate, (said the hon. Member) the people will have a right to oppose us by every peaceable and constitutional means in their power; and if they shall be unable to bring us back to reason by peaceable means, they will obtain at length the right of resorting to absolute resistance.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
I wonder at the indiscretion, for I will not call it by a harsher term, of which the hon. member for Oldham has been guilty. Let the public decide on the truth of the hon. Member's assertions by this one circumstance; he alleges as a fact, that 10,000 men are now confined in the different gaols of this kingdom in consequence of revenue prosecutions. Why does he say that. On what authority does he avouch it? Lot him call for all the returns which chooses, and prove it if he can. To produce some effect of his own, which I will not venture to describe, the hon. Member ventures to assert that 10,000 men are imprisoned on revenue charges. I call upon him to prove that assertion now, or to be convicted here in the presence of the assembled Commons of England, and of the 621 whole British public, of having wilfully and deliberately, for his own purposes, made an assertion which he cannot justify. There never was a misstatement more gross than that on which the hon. member for Oldham has just ventured. He has now upon the Table a return from every prison in the kingdom, containing an account of the number of persons confined within it. He has time before the end of the Session, to look those returns through—let him apply himself to the task, and see whether he can make out that number from those returns. There was no delusion greater the (hon. Gentleman continued) and certainly none more mischievous, than that which under any circumstances brought into direct contrast with each other, the situation and comforts of the different classes of society. If it were possible that there was not a single poor man in England, it would be as much the duty of the House then, as it is now, to refuse every grant which was not warranted by the exigencies of the public service; but it was most unfair and unjust, for the sake of aiding an argument of temporary interest at best, to contrast the condition of the poor with that of the rich, in such a manner as to cast odium upon the rich as the authors of all the misery of the poor. Such contrasts must always be in existence as long as man was man. If you could improve the condition of the poor by them, he should say, that it was right to make such contrasts; but if the only result to be derived from such contrasts was to kindle animosities which did not exist, and to blow the trumpet for an "everlasting civil war, he should then say, that it was not the part either of a good citizen or of a good subject, or of a good member of Parliament, or of a just and legitimate reasoner, to make such contrasts.
§ Mr. Cobbett
was sorry to see the hon. Secretary treat this subject with so much passion. He asserted that he had not drawn any invidious contrast—or, indeed, any contrast at all—between the condition of the rich and that of the poor. He had complained of the number of persons who were now suffering under the exactions of the taxation of the country. He repeated that he had made no contrast between the rich and the poor. Why should he have made such a contrast, when he knew that there was no set of men poorer than those who were styled gentlemen of landed estate? The hon. Secretary had acted that evening as he bad acted on a 622 previous occasion, when the Stamp-acts were under consideration. He had gone into figures of rhetoric, when he ought to have attended to figures of arithmetic,—he had dealt in a wonderful confusion of tropes and metaphors, when he ought to have confined himself to the simplicity of facts. It was his (Mr. Cobbett's) firm belief, that there were at this moment more than 10,000 persons in prison, in consequence of the pressure of taxation. The House was so impatient. He wished the people were so impatient. He might be guilty of an indiscretion—he thanked the hon. Secretary for giving him that word—in making that assertion: but, if the people were as impatient about the paying, as the House was about the voting away their money, he thought that the Treasury would not be much the better for it. He would undertake to prove, that 10,000 men and more were now in prison, in consequence of the fiscal exactions of the Government; and if he failed in establishing that point to the conviction of every fair and impartial man, he would own that he was fairly exposed to the reproaches of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Hume
thought, that it was the duty of an honest member of Parliament, if he saw squalid misery existing among the poor, and if he reflected that the poor supplied the great part of the expenditure of the State, out of the earnings of their industry, to state it in a fair and candid manner, free from extenuation on the one hand, and from exaggeration on the other. He had stated, on several previous occasions, his objections to this grant for the repair of Windsor Castle. "I stated," said Mr. Hume, "those objections as strong as man could state them, I stated them, as strong as I could state them." The hon. member for Oldham had not said a single word about fiscal prosecutions; he had merely spoken of fiscal exactions. He (Mr. Hume) believed that, instead of 10,000 men having been committed to gaol by fiscal exactions, there had been 50,000. He believed that at this present moment there were not so many as 10,000 persons in prison for debts of any description. About three years ago, in all the gaols of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the number of persons confined amounted to 5,300. He believed that the number of persons now confined in the metropolitan prisons was less by 600 or 700 than it had been for many years past. He did not, however, the less deprecate, on that account, any complaint which 623 had a tendency to infer that, because the number of persons imprisoned had diminished, it was therefore the duty of an honest Member of Parliament to be silent when he saw the money of his constituents absolutely thrown away. He would not object to this grant now, as the repairs of Windsor Castle were now almost at a close; but this he must say, that nothing had affected the people of. England more than, that 600,000l. should have been expended upon the repairs of Windsor Castle, and 800,000l. upon the rebuilding of Buckingham House, and yet that neither of those buildings was at present completed.
§ Mr. Robinson
thought, that the House would be guilty of a dereliction of its duty if it did not justify itself from the imputation which had just been cast upon it. The hon. Gentleman had Said, that the hon. member for Oldham had been guilty of an indiscretion: he (Mr. Robinson) would go still further, and would say, that that hon. Member had been guilty of an act of gross injustice towards the House, for he had had the presumption to arrogate to himself the monopoly of all the philanthropy felt for the lower classes of the community. How could the hon. Member presume to arrogate to himself all the regard of the House for the interest of the poorer members of the community. He would not yield to that hon. Member in love for the lower classes, or in a desire to alleviate their misfortunes and distresses. What did the hon. Member mean by saying that we should be ashamed to see ourselves, upon walking out of the House, if we did not walk out in the darkness of night, instead of the brightness of day? And what connexion had he shown to exist between this vote and the alleged distresses of the country? The hon. Gentleman had certainly indulged in imputations against Ministers which he had no facts to justify.
§ The vote agreed to.
§ The next vote was, that a sum of 10,000l. be granted "on account of the expense of erecting a national gallery."
expressed his disapprobation of the plan of converting the chapel at Whitehall into a gallery for the reception of works of art. He thought that a new building for the purpose should be commenced immediately in Trafalgar Square.
said, he was informed that Whitehall Chapel would perfectly answer the purpose to which it was intended to appropriate it; but if, upon ex 624 amination, this should turn out not to be the case, no part of the money would be expended on the alteration of the building, and the ground in Trafalgar-square would, in the mean time, remain unbuilt upon till the next Session of Parliament.
hoped, that, as the sense of the House was in favour of the erection of a new gallery in Trafalgar-square, the noble Lord would pause before he took any steps with respect to Whitehall Chapel.
§ Mr. Cobbett
said, he would enter into a compromise with Ministers; he would support a vote of 50,000l. for a national gallery, if they would repeal the Malt-tax. Until that was done, they could not afford money for a national gallery.
said, that by converting the chapel at Whitehall into a gallery, instead of building a new one, a great saving would be effected.
said, that the cheap plan was proposed under the idea that the House would refuse a grant sufficiently large to enable a new gallery to be built, but, now that that notion was dissipated, surely it was advisable at once to commence the building in Trafalgar-square.
§ Mr. William Brougham
asked whether, if Government should resolve upon the erection of a new gallery, Mr. Wilkins's plan would be followed?
said, that Government were bound to act upon Mr. Wilkins's plan if a new gallery should be built.
§ Mr. Willǐam Brougham
said, that other plans had been submitted to Government, which he thought superior to that of Mr. Wilkins. He would oppose the grant now proposed, if an assurance were not given that it should not be appropriated to the completion of Mr. Wilkins's plan.
explained, that his declaration as to Government being bound to follow Mr. Wilkins's plan must be received with this qualification—that they were bound to do so only in the event of his undertaking to complete the building for 62,000l.
§ Mr. Estcourt
wished the noble Lord to explain how Government could be bound to follow Mr. Wilkins's plan, when he himself had abandoned it.? He hoped competition would be allowed.
said, that Mr. Wilkins had prepared his plan under the authority of the Treasury; and, if his contract for 625 executing it had come within 62,000l. it would have been adopted, and by this time partly executed. His tender, however, amounted to 75,000l., and, under those circumstances. Government would not proceed with the work until they brought the matter under the consideration of Parliament.
§ The vote agreed to; the House resumed.