HC Deb 14 February 1833 vol 15 cc660-713
Mr. Hume

rose to call the attention of the House to a subject which he deemed of the utmost importance. The state of the country loudly demanded the most rigorous economy on the part of the Government; and the Parliament were bound to relieve the country from its present burthens. On a former occasion he had complained of his Majesty's Speech, for omitting to notice, as he thought it ought to have done, the sufferings and distress of the people, and their demands for reduced taxation. He was, however, willing to believe, that the Ministers were convinced of the necessity of reducing the amount of expenditure. Another part of the complaint he had then urged was, the recommendation of harsh measures towards Ireland. He was happy to be able to say, that the Motion of the noble Lord two nights since had agreeably disappointed him on the subject of that complaint. The measures which the noble Lord then brought forward was one of peace and conciliation, and he had no doubt it would be received in Ireland as such. The measure which the noble Lord had this night introduced was one of the next degree of importance to Parliamentary Reform, and he trusted would be found satisfactory to the people of all the great towns of this country. As he had before complained of what he thought to be the inattention of Ministers to these subjects, he now begged leave to return them his thanks for what they had done. Next in importance to these two great subjects, was that of relieving the people from taxation; and under the feeling that it was so, he thought he could not do better than bring forward the question of which he had given notice. He should have been glad to postpone it till after the Budget had been produced; and he would have done so, had not a circumstance which had just occurred forced it on him and on the House—he alluded to a statement which had appeared in the newspapers of the death of a gallant officer, the Governor of Berwick. That circumstance, coupled with what had occurred in the last Parliament with respect to the Governorship of Londonderry, to which the hon. member for Poole had been appointed, had influenced him in at once submitting the present Motion to the House. He had then entered his protest against the principle of such appointments; and what he was now about to do, was in the hope of preventing this appointment taking place, and of preventing all others of the same kind. He believed that, since the last Session, some of these appointments had been made. One, for instance, was that of the Lieutenant of the Tower. Now, such appointments must be prevented if that reduction of expenditure which the country required was to take place. What was the state of the finances of the country? On the 5th of July last there was a balance of 1,240,000l. of expenditure beyond the receipts. That fact, in the eighteenth year of peace, was one which would make everybody—every man of sense—agree with him in saying our finances were in a bad state. According to the statement which the noble Lord made at the end of the last Session of Parliament, he anticipated that in the year ending on the 5th of April next, there would be a surplus of 773,000l. He hoped that the noble Lord's anticipations would prove correct, but no one could be sure that they would. However, supposing that they were then deducting that surplus from the deficiency of last year, it would leave a deficiency on the two years' accounts of only 476,000l.; so that the people must see that if they wished to avoid an increase of loans, the Government must have new taxes in order to meet that deficiency. What, then, ought the House to do? They must look on every side, for the purpose of discovering the means of reducing the expenditure, in order that they might avoid both new loans and new taxes. Unless they removed all that was unnecessary in the way of expenditure, they could not effect the reductions of which the country was in want. They must abolish all useless and superfluous places and pensions. That was now the question. If the House should divide to-night on his Motion, it would have had the opinion of six Parliaments taken on it; for he had already taken the sense of five Parliaments on the question of giving these useless offices to military men. He was aware that the noble Lord could tell him now, as on a former occasion, that he must not count on the noble Lord's vote for that; that vote had never been with him on this question when the noble Lord sat on his side of the House. That was quite true; but still he must say, that he thought the noble Lord's opinions mistaken on the question. The objection might be made that this was a partial question, and that the House ought not to decide about Londonderry or Berwick, but upon the question of principle itself. He agreed with that objection now, and he thought that in this Parliament we should look to principles; hitherto every question had been a question of expediency, of interest, and of party favour; and the consequences of any one question had never been fairly dealt with. In this new Parliament he hoped it would be different. If Ireland had loudly demanded relief, and Ministers had wisely granted it, did not England want relief in a similar manner? Every, or almost every Member, who had appeared before a numerous constituency, must have been called upon to give his utmost support to measures of economy and retrenchment. He knew that there were some Conservative constituencies—the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford for instance—where this had not been done; but then they were exceptions to the rule, for everywhere else the people had loudly demanded relief from unnecessary taxation (all proper burthens they were most willing to bear), relief from sinecures and unmerited pensions. With the last of these he had now nothing to do. The question he should now submit to the House was, whether sinecures should be continued or not. He should read to the House a paper that would exemplify the evils of these sineoures, and he ought to tell them that it was not a paper which he had made for this occasion, but which he had treasured up till an occasion should arise to bring it forward. It was a return made to that House in 1816, and it was signed "H. Goulburn," 'whom he took to be the proper officer to return it. The document stated among other similar things that the hon. H. C. Windham, the Secretary and Clerk of Enrolments in Jamaica, received for that office a sum of 4,500l. a-year; that he had been in possession of it since 1763, and during the whole of that time had resided in England. On the whole that gentleman had received a sum of 238,000l. of the public money for a sinecure office. The next person mentioned in the paper was the hon. Percy Windham, who had received from another sinecure office the sum of 334,000l. There were four other sinecures mentioned in the same paper, amounting in the whole to 1,062,000l., which seven individuals had received, in the course of a few years, of the public money without doing any thing for it. Calculating interest and compound interest on the sums paid to these individuals, they would appear enormous, and the sum would be more formidable when it was recollected, that while the country had interest to pay on money borrowed, every farthing expended that was not merited, was so much abstracted from the means of paying the interest of our debt, and every such payment must be calculated at so much compound interest until our debt was paid off. For that reason he had always objected to pensions in reversion—for that reason he had objected to that granted to the Speaker by the late Parliament; and he had shown that Speaker Onslow and his son had, in that manner, received a sum of 389,000l. of the public money, for the fourteen years' service that Gentleman had rendered in that House. These statements were not exaggerated; for it was evident, that if the money thus expended on sinecures had been left in the public Treasury, it would have lessened the loans that had been contracted to that precise amount, and the country would have been so much the richer, He did not speak of individuals, but of the public revenue. The sums we paid were almost incredible, and, in order to pay them, we had often been obliged to have recourse to loans. He complained of the last Parliament lor not having done what they ought with regard to sinecures and useless places. The present Parliament would act differently and if he complained of the last Parliament, he did so, because he thought he had more right than any other man to make such complaints. One thing, however, had been gained, and it was a matter of great importance. If no other good had been obtained by getting the Tories out of the saddle, there was at least this—that the mystery of these places and sinecures could be kept up no longer. The people had now got behind the curtain, and the secrets were known. He asked this new Parliament—this Reformed Parliament—whether it was, or was not, prepared to start on sound principles? If it were prepared, let it go with him, if he proved that he was right. He should have little difficulty in establishing that point, if unshackled reason were allowed to act, and if hon. Members discarded all notions of temporary expediency. He could not believe that there was a man on the Treasury Bench who could refuse to accompany him in a division, let the result be what it might. It was material for him to show, that the principle he wished to fix was not new, for it was one which even an Unreformed Parliament had adopted. In the Session of 1809–10, a Finance Committee was appointed, of which Mr. Bankes, the late member for Dorsetshire, was the Chairman; and, among other matters, it made inquiries into pensions, sinecures, and reversions. The result of that investigation he (Mr. Hume) earnestly recommended to the attention of every man who was anxious to ascertain the amount of the evil, and the opinions of the day upon it. He referred the House, therefore, to the third Report of the Finance Committee and its voluminous appendages, in the understanding of which, the Orders made yesterday, on the Motion of the hon. member for Perth, and himself, would be of considerable assistance. That Finance Committee consisted of many men more conservative than any now sitting in the House; and nobody could accuse its Chairman of entertaining many, or perhaps, any of the opinions he (Mr. Hume) professed, excepting that, now and then, the desire of economy on the part of Mr. Bankes, and to diminish unnecessary expenditure, was, perhaps, stronger than that which existed even in his mind. After great deliberation, two Resolutions, founded upon the Report, were brought before the House by the hon. member for Bodmin (Mr. Davies Giddy). They were proposed on the 31st of May, 1810, and the first was:—"That the utmost attention to economy in all the branches of the expenditure is a great and important duty." That Resolution was adopted by an Unreformed House of Commons, and he (Mr. Hume) only called upon the Reformed House to follow the example. The second Resolution was as follows:—"That for this purpose, in addition to the useful and effctive measures already adopted by Parliament for the abolition and regulation of sinecure offices, and offices executed by deputy, it is expedient to extend the like principles to the abolition and regulation of such other cases as may appear to require and admit of the same." The Committee, after going through all the details with the most laudable industry, recognized this principle, and he hoped that the House would affirm it—that no money should be paid where services were not performed, or had not been performed. It would appear from the sixty-fifth volume of the Journals, that when these Resolutions were brought before the House, an amendment was made and adopted, stating that the principle in the Report should be extended as soon as his Majesty should be enabled to recom-pence extraordinary services by other means. A bill was accordingly introduced for the purpose, and under it some of the Members of the present Parliament, and others who were not Members, were in the enjoyment of pensions. Any hon. Gentleman, who would read the whole proceeding, could not fail to come to the conclusion at which he had arrived; that, after the passing of that Bill Government was bound to abolish all sinecures as rapidly as possible—some, indeed, as they had fallen in had been abolished, but the specific question as to military and naval sinecures had not yet been brought before Parliament. He now introduced it, and called upon the House to carry into other branches the principle adopted in 1810. It was particularly fortunate that since he had given notice of the present Motion, the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) had evinced a decided disposition to accord in it, by stating his intention to make it part of the Bill to reform the Irish Church, that sinecure benefices in that Church should be abolished, where, for three years, service had not been performed. The noble Lord, therefore, could not get out of the difficulty otherwise than by going through with the principle: his notice clenched the matter, unless the noble Lord could show, either that an argument which applied to one branch of the public service did not apply to another, or that the State had some separate fund applicable to these payments. He was bound to suppose that the great mass of those who now supported Ministers were economically inclined; and, if any faith were to be put in words, there could be no doubt that the members of the Cabinet would rejoice in taking any steps to promote a saving of the public money. He might quote upon this point the declarations of many; but he would only briefly refer to a speech delivered by the noble Lord now on the Woolsack, when Mr. Brougham. To the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Admiralty, he need surely not appeal on a question of this kind; he (Mr. Hume) was sure of his vote; he had been a pillar of Reform and retrenchment when out of office, and his speech on the sums paid to Privy Counsellors would long be remembered. He hoped the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) would not now draw back; he took it for granted, that now he had the power, he felt bound to carry into effect his own principle, He (Mr. Hume) cared not a pin for the opinions of any man out of office, if, when in office, he did not adhere to them, and do his utmost to give effect to them. It was desirable, therefore, that the right hon. Baronet on this occasion, should satisfy the people of England, who looked up to him with confidence that he had not changed his sentiments.

Sir James Graham

said, across the Table, that they were not changed.

Mr. Hume

was glad to hear it; he had begun his reference to the right hon. Baronet by saying, that he did not think he could have changed. In the same spirit, Mr. Brougham, in a celebrated speech, had called upon the House "not to disregard the universal voice of the nation, loudly calling for retrenchment;" and after charging the then Government with not having paid due attention to that voice, he went on to complain, that "those who refused to listen to the call for economy, in utter disregard of the feelings of an insulted nation, proceeded from one wasteful expenditure to another." He (Mr. Hume) did not mean at all to charge the present Government with doing so, and he only made this quotation to show the strong sentiments of Members who then sat upon the Opposition side of the House. Civil sinecures having thus been in a great degree abolished, he begged to ask what reason there was that military and naval sinecures should not share the same fate? He had been told that the amount was small; that it was not worth notice; and, that, at the present moment, old gallant officers ought not to be deprived of this paltry reward of their services. He remembered even to have formerly heard a Member enjoying one of these pensions, assert, that he thought it more honourable than a grant from Parliament. Sure he was, that no man in the army or navy who deserved well of his country, would fail to be amply rewarded by a vote of the House, and sure he was also, that had he the same claim upon the gratitude of his country, he should prize such a public tribute ten times beyond the value of any sinecure. Then he should form one of a band, not to be pointed at by the finger of scorn, but to be pointed out by the finger of admiration. On one occasion, when the right hon. Baronet brought forward the case of the Governor of Dartmouth, he (Mr. Hume) remembered that there was a division upon the question. Let not the House be startled at the small amount of the proposed saving; for, although the aggregate exceeded 33,000l., the sum to which the particular vole applied was only 175l. One objection taken was, that the Governor was a civilian, not a military man; and it applied also to the Governors of St. Kitts and Montserrat, who had been appointed from parliamentary or family interest. He (Mr. Hume) admitted that such sinecures were often given to worthy men; but his objection was, that they were sometimes bestowed upon the unworthy, who stained the merit of all the rest. Since the last Parliament, General Loftus had been Lieutenant of the Tower. Who was appointed to succeed him? No doubt a person of high rank, of long standing in the army, and of eminent public services—the Earl of Munster. If that noble Lord had been brought before the House for the reward of his services, not a single hand would have been held up for him. Everybody knew how the thing had been done, and he could hardly blame those, who, under the circumstances, had yielded. He did not instance the Governorship of Windsor Castle, because a Committee to which he (Mr. Hume) belonged, had abolished the salary, and he did not object to any honours that might be bestowed; they might be scattered as widely as anybody pleased, provided they were spread among the deserving. If they were conferred upon the undeserving as well as the deserving, the aristocracy must take care of themselves. But who was Lieutenant of the Tower now? Lord Frederick Fitz-clarence, who had been appointed to the office after the Earl of Munster had been made Constable of Windsor Castle. This fact he had from the newspapers, and, as they sometimes told stories, for aught he knew, this might be one. But who was Lord Frederick Fitzclarence, and did he come within the list of old meritorious officers? If such an appointment had been forced upon Ministers, ought not the House to protect them from such influence? The same noble Lord had also an appointment in the Royal Household.

Sir John Hobhouse

observed, that no salary was annexed to it.

Mr. Hume

was glad to hear that. If the noble Lord served as an amateur, he of course could make no objection. If the noble Lord, however, had any real duties to discharge, he ought to be paid for them; for volunteer services from any men, where there was any business to be done, were not desirable. Like honorary secretaries, they were sure to slip into some good thing or other at last. Who was this gallant and deserving veteran who now held the Lieutenancy of the Tower? He entered the Coldstream Guards on the 12th of May, 1814, so that he had never heard a shot fired.

Sir John Hobhouse,

the battle of Waterloo was subsequent to May, 1814.

Mr. Hume

True; he had forgotten the battle of Waterloo. Would any Member who cheered so loudly tell him that Lord Frederick Fitzclarence was at Waterloo? This was an instance, therefore, of the manner in which military sinecures were abused. He begged it to be clearly understood, that he wished to deprive no military or naval man of the due reward of his services, and he hoped that the country would never be backward in giving that reward; but he wished that all should be openly done, and then he should not find, of the 130 Colonels in the army, so many who did not stand well even in the opinion of the army. He did not himself profess to be able to judge of the particular and individual merits of those officers, but he knew that not a few were indebted to family interest and influence. The House was not aware, perhaps, how many of these sinecures existed. The Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of Berwick were non-resident, and there were, besides, a Town Adjutant and a Major: when he (Mr. Hume) was last there, he had been curious to learn something regarding the garrison, and he found that it was a mere mockery so to call it, and there was not a single piece of artillery in the place. Wherever non-residence and no duties were combined, there ought to be no salaries; and he put it to the noble Lord whether he could maintain such a sinecure as that of the Governor of Berwick in the face of a distressed people demanding a repeal of taxation? He would be the first to resist any unreasonable expectation on the part of the people; he had done so, and he would do so again were it necessary, though, as they only erred from ignorance—and ignorance was fast disappearing—it was less likely that he should be required to oppose the public wishes. When he found the people from one end of the kingdom to the other, groaning under an intolerable load of taxation and calling for relief, it was his duty to point out any and every means by which they could be relieved, without impairing the efficiency of the public establishment. It was the duty too of that House to relieve the people at least to that extent, and as long as they confined their demands to that, he would give them his most strenuous support. Whether naval and military sinecures ought to be reduced immediately was not the question, but whether sinecures ought to be the means of rewarding services. It was a plain matter, and no mystification could confuse it. He would run over a few of the offices to which he objected;—The Governor of Blackness Castle was non-resident; the Governor of Carlisle and his Deputy were not-resident. At Chester he did not know whether there was or was not a garrison. He begged to say that he should be sorry needlessly to introduce any names, and would mention no more than those of the noble Lords of whom he had necessarily already spoken. If Ministers were not strong enough to withstand the influence to which he had referred in those appointments, he said again, let the House of Commons interpose to protect them. If merit existed, let it be brought before the same House for its reward; and the claim, if well founded, would never be rejected. He was sure that the noble Lord and his colleagues meant to act honestly and fairly by the people, and he (Mr. Hume) could not help thinking that they would be most happy in the opportunity of showing their attachment to a sound principle, that reward should attend real services, while they were at the same time protected from undue influence. The Governors of the Leeward Islands, of the Virgin Islands, of Montserrat, of Grenada, St. Kitts, and Dominica, were non-resident, and two of them he believed were civilians. The salary for Dominica was 366l. a-year, and the others were lower. If the noble Lord, on the motion of the right hon. Baronet, voted against the Governor of Dartmouth, because he was a civilian, he was bound to vote against the two Civil Governors of St. Kitts and Montserrat. The right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) had recently laid down an excellent principle in the case of Sir Harry Neale; he said truly that the duties of Port Admiral and of Representative in the House of Commons were incompatible with each other. Hitherto it had been thought that a man could be in two places at the same time, but that notion was now going out of fashion, and he was happy thus to have another reason for expecting the vote of the First Lord of the Admiralty. While he contended for a plain and simple principle, he begged to defend himself against an allegation contained in several anonymous letters which had been sent to him or published—that he wished to deprive deserving officers of their few remaining rewards; on the contrary, he was ready and anxious to pay all according to their real merits; and only desirous that the undeserving should not be confounded with the deserving, and both mixed up in one common censure. He therefore proposed the two following Resolutions:—

"1st. That it is the opinion of the House, that the utmost attention to economy in all branches of the public expenditure, which is consistent with the public service, is at all times a great and important duty.

"2nd. That the existence of sinecure offices, and offices executed by deputy, in the Army and Navy Departnients, is unnecessary and inexpedient as a means of remunerating public services." He hoped he had made himself understood, and that he only called upon the House to act upon a principle which had been recognized in 1810 and several times since. If economy were not to be practised with regard to sinecures, how would it be possible to retrench the salaries of the offices to which some, and, perhaps, very useful duties were attached. He would leave the question in the hands of the House. What might be the result he knew not, for he only spoke his individual opinions, and had not even asked a Member to second his proposition.

Mr. Robinson

seconded the Motion, though he had formed no previous concert with the hon. member for Middlesex, and he sincerely declared, that as a Member of that House, he felt that his hon. friend had made out a strong case which showed that, in the aggregate, those sums did press heavily upon the community, and exhaust the resources of the country. Bearing in mind the declarations formerly made by the noble Lord and his colleagues, he should certainly be very much surprised if they, this evening, came forward to defend the system which it was the object of the hon. member for Middlesex to abolish. That hon. Member was entitled to the best thanks of the House for taking this early opportunity of directing its attention to the subject; because, as he properly stated, no notice had as yet been given by his Ma-jesty's Ministers of any intention on their part to bring forward measures for the reduction of taxation, the retrenchment of expenditure, or the abolition of sinecures. This, as the hon. Gentleman remarked, was a very great omission, because it had created a doubt in the minds of the people, as to whether Ministers meant to fulfil, or not, the pledges which they gave previous to their coming into office. He knew that, on former occasions, the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, defended these naval and military sinecures, and, therefore, it would not be inconsistent in him, if he should now oppose the abolition of them. At the same time, he put it to the noble Lord to consider, whether, in the present state of the country, and in the high situation which he filled, he would consider it judicious to repeat the opinions which he had previously expressed upon the subject, and continue his opposition to the removal of these sinecures? The hon. member for Middlesex had shown how these sums, in the aggregate of a long course of years, pressed upon the industry and the resources of the country; and he had put it to the House to say, whether, when they were so earnestly called upon by every class of persons, from every district in the kingdom, to reduce taxation and relieve the burthens which bear so oppressively upon the industrious classes, it was possible that these sinecures could any longer be defended, or any longer be allowed to exist? What had been the defence hitherto set up for their continuance? That they were given as rewards to meritorious public officers, and considered as a more flattering and more honourable mode of conferring such rewards, than an immediate grant from this House would be. That proposition involved two or three considerations; the first of which was—whether, looking at the practice that had been heretofore followed, these pensions had been conferred upon the ground of service, or whether they had been given in consideration of some connexion, public or private, with the Minister of the day? Such certainly was the fortunate situation of the present Ministry, that they were not exposed to the necessity of resorting to such a despicable system to maintain their influence in this House; but he was inclined to agree with the hon. member for Middlesex, that in dealing with this question now, they were not to consider whether the present Ministers were or were not likely to resort to so pernicious a practice in order to increase their strength, but to guard against the possibility of a renewal of the abuse on any future occasion. The only security that the Government could give the House, was to adopt the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex. But there was another reason, and a most important one, upon which he called on the House to support that Motion—he meant the good effect which, he was satisfied, the affirmation, by the House, of the principle laid down by the hon. member for Middlesex, would produce throughout the country. It would afford to those who, in a distressed and excited state, were now anxiously looking to the proceedings of Parliament, a distinct evidence of the sincerity of the Reformed House to act upon principles diametrically opposed to those adopted by previous Parliaments, and which had reduced the country to its present depressed condition. If his Majesty's Ministers, therefore, should tonight think proper to oppose this Motion, he sincerely hoped and trusted that the House—if the arguments advanced against the present proposition should be as sophistical and unconclusive as they had been on former occasions against similar propositions, would by its vote, convince the Government that the period for the continuance of such abuses had for ever passed away. But he hoped better things from the present Ministry: he trusted that the noble Lord would see that he was called upon, on the first assembling of the new Parliament—at the commencement of a new era in our history, to affirm or to oppose a principle involving, in point of fact, nothing more nor less than this consideration—shall any portion of the public money be, for the future, applied to the support of persons who perform no service to the State? He perfectly agreed with the hon. member for Middlesex, that it would be impossible that the case of any meritorious officer should ever be brought before this House, without obtaining such a compensation, as the nature of his services would entitle him to expect. He had ever been of opinion that the proper mode of rewarding those officers was not in the mode hitherto practised, but by applications to the House of Commons, which he was sure would not reject any case of real desert. Upon these grounds, then, he gave the Motion his most cordial and hearty support, and expressed great pleasure in seconding it.

Lord Althorp

said, that he entirely agreed with both the hon. Members who had just spoken, that it was the bounden duty of that House to put an end to all expenses which could not be proved to be necessary. That was a general proposition in which he concurred; but it was necessary to look at the question before the House, both with regard to its own merits, and the time at which it was brought forward. When the estimates came under discussion, the hon. Member and the House would have an opportunity of expressing an opinion, by a separate and substantive motion, on every one of those places, which he must say, he thought had been improperly called sinecures, inasmuch as they came annually under the consideration of Parliament. He thought, therefore, that the hon. member for Middlesex would have done better had he postponed the discussion of the question until the Estimates were submitted to the House. The hon. Gentleman was well acquainted with his opinion on the subject. He was sure that the hon. Gentleman would do him the justice to acknowledge that when sitting on the other side of the House he was pretty consistent in his adherence to, and support of every measure of public economy; yet he felt so satisfied that these places ought not to be abolished, that upon every Motion for their extinction he had always separated himself from the hon. member for Middlesex, and voted against him. He stated this merely as a proof of the strength of his own opinion on the subject. The hon. Gentleman said, that he had no desire to deprive meritorious officers of compensation for their services, but that his object was to prevent those who had performed no services from receiving the public money. That was precisely what the hon. Member would have a far better opportunity of effecting when the Estimates came under discussion. The hon. member for Middlesex, in the course of his speech, seemed to imply that Ministers had deserted the principles which they professed on accepting office, and had taunted his hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty with not carrying into effect those economical measures which he advocated on the other side of the House. Now, he appealed to the House to decide whether his hon. colleague was such an uneconomical Minister as he had been described by the hon. member for Middlesex? Had he not reduced the Navy Estimates, and abolished a great number of places in the navy department and the admiralty, by which a great saving had been effected to the public? The hon. member for Middlesex had gone back to the year 1810, at which period he (Lord Althorp) was, as at present, opposed to sinecure offices. The hon. Member, however, seemed to misunderstand the resolution of the House at that period, for it was limited to the abolition of sinecures for persons who were provided for by other means. It had been stated that when any cases of officers deserving public reward should be brought under the notice of Parliament they would meet with due attention. He was very much afraid that, in dealing with a case of hardship, the House would allow itself to be carried beyond the merits of the question. That, he believed, would be the fault of any popular assembly, and there was a much greater likelihood that the House would grant a larger sum of money in such cases than justice required. In a constitutional point of view, too, there was an objection to allow the House to dispense rewards to officers of the Crown. It always had been considered, and always must be considered, in a mixed monarchical government, that the disposal of patronage of that kind rested with the King. For both those reasons he was disinclined to take the course recommended by the hon. member for Middlesex. He thought it absolutely necessary, unless they were prepared to increase to a very great extent the expenditure for the efficient service of the country, that there should be some means of rewarding individuals who had deserved well of their country. If that was desirable with respect to the general service of the country, it was more peculiarly so as regarded the military service, than which, as every one knew, no service was more inadequately paid. It was a service which called upon those engaged in it, to hazard their lives, and suffer the greatest hardships for the sake of their country; and he certainly thought it would be most cruel and ungenerous treatment to leave them to pass the last portion of their existence without the means of comfort. The hon. Gentleman had, in very strong language, denounced sinecures. Did the hon. Gentleman mean to say, that no public money ought to be paid to any person who was not on actual duty? If that was the hon. Gentleman's meaning, he begged the House to reflect upon the length to which such a proposition would carry them. He repeated that he saw great objection to the vague and general manner in which the question had been brought before the House, and he thought that the hon. Member would have acted better if he had waited until the Estimates came under consideration. The hon. Gentleman had stated, that there was a certain number of sinecure Lieutenant-governorships in the West-India Islands. It certainly was the case, that sinecure places formerly existed there but an alteration had been made with respect to them by which a great saving had been effected. By the new arrangement one General-governor was appointed for several islands, and resident Lieutenant-governors were nominated for the smaller islands. In this manner all the sinecure offices were abolished, and a saving of 17,000l. or 18,000l. effected to the public. In consequence of residence being now exacted from the Lieutenant-governors of these islands, Sir James Bathurst, who was formerly one of those officers, was obliged to resign the situation. That gentleman had, for a long period, been in the performance of public duties, and his health had been impaired in the service. He had been Military Secretary and Deputy Quartermaster-general in the campaign of the Peninsula, and it was impossible for the Crown to overlook his merit. That was not a case which Ministers could have brought before the House, but it was just such a case as called for compensation, and his Majesty had therefore been advised, as a reward for his services, to appoint him to the Governorship of Berwick, one of those situations which it was the object of the hon. member for Middlesex to extinguish. He did not mean to say, that these places might not be improperly disposed of, but hon. Members ought to bear in mind that they could not be paid without the annual consent of Parliament. Taking this view of the case, and being of opinion that the present was not the proper time for discussing the question, though he had not the slightest objection to the first Resolution, he felt it his duty with respect to the second, relating to military sinecures, to move the previous question.

Colonel Davies

thought, that the noble Lord complained without any reason that the present was not a proper or a convenient time for a discussion of this question. The noble Lord said, that a better opportunity would be afforded for considering the propriety of continuing these sinecures, when the Estimates were laid before the House. But—if he mistook not—the object of the hon. member for Middlesex, in bringing the subject forward thus early, in a separate form, was to prevent any further appointments being made, in the interval which must elapse before the introduction of the Estimates. For his part, he was decidedly of opinion, that his hon. friend had adopted the right course; because he was convinced that the subject could never be properly discussed in a Committee of Supply. For the House to declare, by a separate and distinct vote, that it would no longer sanction these sinecure places—and thus abolish them at once—would leave open very little room for complaint; but nothing would appear more cruel, than annually, when the Estimates came before the House, to rip up some old grievance for the purpose of attacking these sinecurists individually and in detail. As it was his intention to support the Motion of his hon. friend, he wished to take this early opportunity of explaining his reasons for doing so. He should be the last person who would wish to do anything harsh against men who braved the enemies of their country in every quarter of the globe; and who by their acts, had cast an imperishable lustre over its history. Far be it from him to say that such men should go unrewarded; but they were contending against a bad principle. The whole system upon which the retirement of military officers was regulated, was decidedly bad and not unfrequently, reduced old officers to a situation of the most cruel embarrassment—being, in a pecuniary point of view, little superior to that of menial servants. That system he wished to see changed; and if the noble Lord would consent to the reduction of sinecure places, he would be enabled to better the condition of those officers, who, under the system to which he had alluded, were not fairly treated. By doing away with sinecures, the allowances to staff-officers might be increased, and justice done to many active and deserving officers,—that would satisfy the public, besides saving expense. For these reasons—believing, also, that these sinecure appointments, instead of being bestowed on meritorious persons, were given to individuals whose only claim to the favour of Government was the possession of Parliamentary influence—he should give his cordial support to the Motion of his hon. friend, the member for Middlesex.

Mr. Maurice Berkeley

thought it quite impossible for any person who was acquainted with the sufferings and distress of the labouring portion of the people to oppose the abolition of sinecure places. He should therefore give his support to the present Motion; but in doing so, he begged to be understood as having a full confidence that Ministers would go on with those wholesome measures of economy. and retrenchment which they had begun. He knew that his constituents, a numerous body, had, like himself, great faith in Ministers; but, at the same time, they felt that the country could not prosper without the most rigid economy, and he, therefore, was grateful to the hon. member for Middlesex, for having brought forward this Motion.

Lord George Lennox

was ready to support the first Resolution, but he could not give his assent to the second. The question was, whether that House or his Majesty was to bestow rewards on public servants. He agreed with the noble Lord (Lord Al-thorp) that this question would be more properly discussed when the Estimates came under the consideration of the House. He did not approve of the policy of abolishing these sinecures. A noble relative of his, the Duke of Gordon, was colonel of the 1st Royals, a regiment that had been in India for the last tweny-four years. The noble Duke's situation was undoubtedly a sinecure.

Mr. Hume

It is not a sinecure.

Lord George Lennox

The hon. member for Middlesex said, it was not a sinecure, while the hon. and learned member for Dublin seemed, by his cheering, to have a different opinion of the subject. He would leave them to settle the matter between them; but he was ready to admit that, in his opinion, the situation was a sinecure. Still he doubted the policy of abolishing such sinecures. If they did away with these places, in what situation would they place the officers of the army? Let them recollect that a major-general, after having risked his life for thirty or forty years in the service of his country, and spilled his blood, had not more than 17s. a-day. Would they, then, take out of the King's hand the power of rewarding those deserving officers? He was one who had not pledged himself to any particular line of conduct, but he was inclined to give the Ministers his support. He must, however, vote against them, unless they conducted the Government of the country on principles of the strictest economy.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that the hon. member for Middlesex and himself would very soon come to an understanding with respect to the sinecure which had been mentioned by the last speaker. That sinecure did not fall within the terms of the present Motion; but if the present Motion were successful, it would fall within the terms of the next. It appeared to him that there was no sinecure more deserving of the notice of the House of Commons than the one which had been mentioned by the noble Lord (Lord G. Lennox). Here was a noble Duke possessing large estates and a vast income, who received a considerable portion of the public money for which he rendered no service. That was a state of things that could not be continued. The Reform Bill was intended to give good and cheap government. Were not the people, he asked, from one end of the kingdom to another, actually screaming for a reduction of taxation? But how could they take off taxes when they would not consent to the abolition of these sinecures? They ought to come at last to common sense; and if real services had been performed, to pay them, not on false pretences, but on real and acknowledged grounds. If it were the prerogative of the Crown, as the fountain of honour, to bestow these offices of dignity, it was the duty of the House of Commons, as the guardian of the public purse, to say, that no part of the treasure within that purse should go to the support of those who had not deserved those dignities by the gallantry of their exploits. The noble Lord had said, that this question was a mere question of time, as the propriety of each of these offices might be discussed on the Estimates. Now he thought that it would be much better on the present occasion to establish a general principle, rather than enter into an invidious examination of each case upon the Estimates, when addresses would be made to their compassion, and they would hear a great deal about the charming wife and amiable family of each officer who was to be mulcted of his appointment. He put it to the Reformed Parliament thus—"Will you or will you not vote for the abolition of sinecures?" Upon that point let us divide. When the House asked Ministers for the Repeal of the Assessed-taxes and for the reduction of the Soap-duties, what answer did the House expect to receive from Ministers? He would tell them what answer the House would get. Ministers would say, "The public service requires these taxes." Then let the House deprive them of that pretence by insisting that the public money should not be expended upon those offices to which no public duties were attached. He contended that Ministers, by opposing this Motion, had fairly thrown the question of "sinecure, or no sinecure," before the public. The pauper list was extending not only in Ireland, but also in England. They had heard that even in England there were families famishing—for they could not be said to be living—on a wretched pittance of 2½d. a-day. Would they, under such circumstances, think of continuing these naval and military sinecures? The question before them was simply this—"Will you, the Members of the Reformed Parliament, by your first vote, continue, or will you by your first vote, abolish sinecures?" On the manner in which they answered that question would rest their future character and estimation with the country.

Mr. George Williams

merely rose to briefly state his view of the question. It was his unbiassed opinion that all extravagance in the public expenditure should be immediately put a stop to. He said it was his unbiassed opinion, as he was not influenced by any promise or pledge made to his constituents. Indeed he stood there in a most peculiar situation. It was with the greatest unwillingness that he accepted the honour of a seat in that House, to which he was sent in direct opposition to his own inclination. He never sought the honour of a vote in that assembly; for, to tell the truth, he never saw his constituents, nor did they even know him. He repeated, his constituents never knew nor saw him, until he went among them to thank them for the confidence they had placed in him by electing him as their Representative. Upon what ground, then, did they elect him? Why, they just knew enough of him to be convinced that he was an unfliching opposer of all useless public expense. They knew this because he had opposed all extravagance within his local power, in the hundreds and parishes in the vicinity of his residence; consequently it was not surprising that he should now publicly support measures of economy. He should be glad, if he could do so conscientiously, to support the present Ministers, because he thought them honest; indeed the only honest Ministers that had governed the country for many years. Yet if they failed in their promises of economy—and they had made solemn ones, still fresh in the minds of the people—he would not hesitate one moment in withdrawing from them his support. Ministers might have their considerations for not consenting to certain reductions, but he would tell them that the first of all considerations with them ought to be the persons who contributed to the grants they disposed of. There was much poverty prevalent in the country, and he knew many of his own constituents who were in absolute want. He had been among them and through them; and he saw, that they were but one instance of that extraordinary mass of distress which was so general throughout the country. He would never consent to one shilling—he said emphatically one shilling—being spent which was not absolutely essential to the public service.

Sir James Graham

assured the hon. Member, who had just sat down, that as one of his Majesty's Ministers he was grateful for the confidence which the hon. Member had expressed himself ready to repose in them, and that he was ready, in common with the rest of his colleagues, to enforce every measure of real economy which prudence dictated, and the efficiency of the service duly warranted. Unlike the hon. Member, whose constituents had neither known nor seen him until after his election, he had been for the last four or five years connected with a large constituency, which both knew and saw him. Among them he had passed his life—to them he had pledged himself to pursue the most rigid economy—and before them he should be ashamed to appear again, if he were to fail to fulfil his pledge even to the very letter. Anxious as he was upon all questions to stand well with his constituents, he was more particularly anxious to stand well with them upon this; for he admitted that this question, as it had been presented to the House by the hon. member for Middlesex, and the hon. and learned member for Dublin, was one of great public importance. The hon. member for Middlesex had reminded him of the conduct which he had pursued whilst sitting on the other side of the House, and had paid him the compliment of saying, that whilst in opposition he had used every exertion in his power to enforce economy in every department of the State. The hon. member for Middlesex had recollected that his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with whom he (Sir J. Graham) had cooperated both in office and out of office, had always abstained from voting with the hon. Member on this question. The hon. member for Middlesex had probably forgotten the conduct which he (Sir J. Graham) had also adopted upon it, or else the hon. Member must have known that he had differed from him, and had voted with his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, from a' firm conviction that, with one or two exceptions, these military and naval Governments (for he would not call them sinecures), could not be abolished with advantage to the public, either in a political, a moral, or an economical point of view. One of the exceptions to which he was alluding was the Governorship of Dartmouth Castle, which was held not by a military officer, but by a civilian, and the others were the Lieutenant-governorships in some of the smaller West-Indian islands. What had been the course which the present Administration had pursued with regard to these exceptions? They attempted to carry Dartmouth Castle by storm—they advanced gallantly to the attack, but, as the House knew, they were signally defeated. But having carried the question of Reform, and by carrying that question having destroyed the influence which previously nominated the two Members for the borough of Dartmouth, they did not hesitate to withdraw the salary from the Governor of Dartmouth Castle, who, he ought to state, was also the proprietor of the borough. The House would also have the goodness to recollect, that with regard to the other exception, the West-India islands, his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had that evening announced to them, that the salaries of the Lieutenant-governors of those islands, when they were not acting Lieutenant-governors, would be withdrawn. The question, therefore, which the House had now to consider, was this:—"Are these naval and military appointments sinecures?" He should contend that they were not. Before he entered into the discussion of that question, he would, with the permission of the House, notice the doubt which the hon. member for Middlesex had insinuated respecting his (Sir J. Graham's) non-fulfilment of his pledges of economy. It did not become him, as a member of the Government, to boast of what he had done in that respect, for he readily admitted that a public servant was doing nothing more than his duty in accomplishing all possible savings of the public money. He claimed no merit then for what he had done; but he thought that, without incurring the charge of presumption, he might mention that, since he had had the honour of holding the situation of First Lord of the Admiralty, he had, in the Estimates of the navy, made a reduction of 1,000,000l., or of nearly one-fourth of the whole previous amount for the effective establishment. He had done that without diminishing the efficiency of the navy, and after the retrenchments of an Administration which he believed was sincerely disposed to act with great economy in every branch of the public service. He had also the satisfaction of announcing to the House, that in the Estimates for the present year, which he should present at no very distant day, he had carried the large reduction of last year still further, and should again have the satisfaction of laying before the House a much reduced estimate. As the subject of patronage was also before the House, he hoped that he might be forgiven for stating that, in addition to the inferior clerks whom he had been compelled by a sense of duty to discharge, though with great pain to himself, on account of the individual suffering which their discharge too often created, he had got rid of twelve Commissioners, some with salaries not below 800l. a-year, and some with salaries of 2,000l. a-year, and all forming and commanding that species of patronage which it was generally deemed most desirable for an Administration to possess. He should do great injustice to his colleagues, if he took the merit of these reductions to himself, when they had all concurred with him in the propriety of making them. The department over which he presided had given him some peculiar advantages, of which he had availed himself; but he assured the House that his colleagues, each in his respective department, were acting upon the same principles, and engaged in the same work of economy and retrenchment. There had been effected during the last year in all the departments of the Government, a saving in the amount of official salaries of 284,000l., and the whole reduction in the Estimates amounted to 2,800,000l., Had this reduction been a mere barren reduction of office? No, it was accompanied by a reduction of taxation to the amount of 1,800,000l. The deficiency in the revenue had now ceased to exist, and he believed that his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would this year, for the first time for many years, have it in his power to prove, to the satisfaction of the House, that we had a bonâ fide surplus of revenue above expenditure, arising not from new taxes, but accompanying diminished taxation, and an economical management of the public purse, committed to their charge. He had been led into this statement, which was not exactly germane to the subject before the House, by the insinuations of the hon. member for Middlesex; but he was sure that no man in the House would feel more pleasure than his hon. friend in finding that the assurances given to him by Ministers whilst they were his co-operators on the other side of the House had not been empty boasts, but that they had been fulfilled by their efforts to effect retrenchment, and to reduce taxation, redeeming their pledges to the full extent which the exigencies of the public service would allow. With respect to the specific question before the House, he believed that these naval and military offices, with the emoluments attached to them, could not be discontinued without materially impairing the efficiency both of the army and of the navy. The hon. and gallant member for Worcester (Colonel Davies) had objected to this mode of remunerating our naval and military officers; but as the hon. and gallant Member knew that a lieutenant-colonelcy could not be purchased for less than 4,500l., he had a right to ask the hon. Member whether, from his knowledge of business, he was not aware that if any young man invested that sum in the purchase of an annuity, he would obtain for it a much larger annual income than the pay of a Major-general, though he might get that for twenty years? The hon. and gallant Member proposed to give to naval and military officers, instead of these offices, an increased amount of pay; but he (Sir James Graham) was of opinion, that such a mode of proceeding would not only be contrary to the first principles of economy, but that it would be a premium on mediocrity, to withdraw great rewards for superior merit. He knew that he was speaking in the presence of many naval and military officers, and that it was at all times difficult to analyze the different motives which impelled men to great exertions. He believed, however, that no professions were so little influenced by mere mercenary motives, as the army and the navy. The motives which influenced the members of them to "spurn delights, and live laborious days," were of a mixed nature;—first and foremost came the love of fame and personal distinction, and next came that perpetual longing after home—that never failing hope, that when danger was confronted and victory won, they should have the means of retreating into a safe and easy retirement, in which their country would provide for the comforts of their declining days, in return for their having spent their early years in battling for her safety and for her glory. He thought also that pecuniary motives, though certainly they were not the chief motives, were not, and certainly ought not to be, entirely lost sight of. He said, that the country would never obtain great exertions from its naval and military officers, without holding out to them some hope of pecuniary remuneration; and the question therefore was, in what mode should that pecuniary remuneration be made? It was undoubtedly part of the patronage of the Crown to appoint to these offices. The Crown had a right in the first instance to appoint to commands; it had next the power of punishing those whom it appointed to commands, if punishing were necessary; and it would therefore be extremely hard, if when it had the power of punishing, it had not also the power of rewarding such of its servants as distinguished themselves in the hour of battle. In what situation, then, was the question at present? The Crown appointed to commands, but the House checked the money expenditure necessary to support them. Had the Crown the power of affixing salaries to those appointments in the mode of pensions? Certainly not. These appointments differed from pensions, inasmuch as the emoluments did not attach to the offices, but passed annually under the revision of the House of Commons, which had the power of marking its dissatisfaction with the claims of those who held them, by withholding the salary usually paid for their support. The right of appointment was vested in the Crown; the power of voting the money was the privilege of the House; and in that view he thought that the Resolutions of the hon. Member interfered directly with the prerogative of the Crown. He had stated his opinion on the principle of this Motion, and he would proceed to state certain facts connected with his own department, in order to show, that in office he had not disregarded the opinions which he had formerly expressed when out of office. When he first went to the Admiralty, he found that five royal yachts were then in commission. One of them, he was given to understand, was connected with the service of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He had found it consistent with the public business not so to employ it longer, and he had great satisfaction in stating, that it was with the full satisfaction of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland that he had had that yacht paid off. It had been found necessary to appoint Superintendants in the yards at Woolwich and at Pembroke. He thought that the services of the two officers who commanded the royal yachts at those arsenals might be made available for that purpose; and he had in consequence converted them from Commandants of the yachts into Superintendents of the yards at those two places. He had thus converted two sinecure offices into real and efficient offices. Two yachts still remained in commission, and he put it to the country whether, with a naval King upon the Throne of these realms, it was to be considered preposterous to have two yachts always ready for the King and his family? Would the House withdraw from his present Majesty that which all the Sovereigns of this country had enjoyed since the period of the Revolution. Unless the House should decide against him by its vote, he certainly should persevere in keeping up two royal yachts. The question, then, as far as it regarded his department, was narrowed to the propriety of continuing to have two Generals of Marines, four Colonels of Marines, a Vice-admiral, and a Rear-admiral of England. The whole amount of salary received by the whole of these officers was 4,740l. Although the sum was small, he admitted that if the principle on which it was paid was wrong, it was the duty of the House, however small the sum might be, to interpose its protecting arm, and to say, that the country would no longer bear it. He would venture to read to the House the names of the Vice-admirals and Rear-admirals of England since the first creation of their respective offices; and he challenged the House to say, that the salaries attached to these appointments had been misapplied, if signal services and eminent gallantry, displayed in a hundred fights, had any claim upon the gratitude of the country. The names of the Vice-admirals of England appointed since the year 1781, when the office was first created, were, Lord Rodney, Lord Howe, Lord Bridport, Admiral Cornwallis, Admiral Sir William Young, Lord de Saumarez, and Lord Ex-mouth; and since the death of the last named gallant hero, he (Sir James Graham) had appointed Admiral Sir Edward Thornborough to be his successor. That gallant veteran was one of the oldest officers in the navy, and could boast of having spent forty years in the service of his country. He was a Lieutenant when his present Majesty first went to sea, and, what was more, he was Lieutenant in the same ship in which his Majesty himself served. His Majesty was desirous of marking his sense of the services rendered to his country by Sir Edward Thorn-borough, and, in obedience to his Majesty's commands, he had appointed him Vice-admiral of England. When the Navy Estimates were brought forward, that appointment would necessarily come under the consideration of the House. The reasons why he had recommended Sir Edward Thornborough to the office which he now held would then be discussed. If he should be unable to vindicate the appointment, the hon. member for Middlesex could move the House to withhold the salary usually attached to it. [Mr. Hume, "No, no."] Would the hon. Member shrink from that task if he thought the reduction of the salary due to the public? If he would, then had he degenerated sadly from that firmness of principle which formerly distinguished him. He would next proceed to read to the House the names of the Rear-admirals of England within the same time. They were—Sir Alexander Hood, Lord Howe, Lord Bridport, Admiral Cornwallis, Sir William Young, Lord de Saumarez, Lord Northesk, Sir Thomas Foley, and Sir George Martin. He had himself appointed Sir George Martin to that office since the Estimates of last year were voted. What, he would ask, was the day upon which this Motion was made?—the 14th of February, the anniversary of the battle of St. Vincent. Sir George Martin was the personal friend of the immortal Nelson. In that battle Nelson's ship was, as many Gentlemen would recollect, much crippled; and, finding that he should be obliged to quit it, he selected the ship commanded by Sir George Martin as that to which he would remove his flag. The office to which he had appointed Sir George Martin was an office famous for its dignity, and had therefore great attraction in the eyes of naval officers; but what were its emoluments?—385l. a-year. What did they suppose the emoluments of the office of Vice-admiral to be?—480l. a-year.—As to the propriety of retaining the office of General and Colonel of Marines, he would merely state, that Lord Nelson and Lord Colling-wood had both been Generals of Marines, and that in the list of Colonels of Marines were to be found the names of some of the most gallant officers that had ever graced the British navy The emoluments of these officers were small, but the stimulus which they afforded for gallant deeds, and heroic exertions, was incalculable; and, in his conscience, he believed that he should betray the King whom he served, and what was more, the people whose servant he was proud to be, and whose approbation he was eager to secure, if, in seeking the transient popularity of the hour—a popularity of insignificant value, when compared with that permanent and durable good-will which the people always showed to those who honestly sought their real interests, he consented to a Motion, which, if it were carried, was calculated to unnerve the energy, and to decrease the efficiency both of the army and navy. He was sure that if the House continued firm to the principles on which it had so long acted towards both, the two services would transmit to the latest posterity, the glory of our arms untarnished, and the honour of the country unimpeached.

Mr. Roebuck

thought it was a strange sight to witness Ministers, while professing themselves the uncompromising advocates of Reform and retrenchment, fighting the battle, as it were, for every old abuse connected with the public expenditure, and squandering the money of the people, as if their funds were inexhaustible. What was the nature of the present Motion? The resolutions which the hon. member for Middlesex had moved went simply to establish a principle—a principle which he denied any real friend of that retrenchment in the public establishments, which the people expected, could oppose. To the first of the resolutions the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had expressed himself favourable, and from the second he had only dissented because he did not think the present was the proper period for bringing it forward.

Lord Althorp

denied, that he had expressed himself favourable to the second resolution.

Mr. Roebuck

"then I am to understand that the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), one of the principal Ministers of his Majesty's Whig Administration, an administration professing Reform and retrenchment, does not wish to do away with sinecures?" What would the people think, when they found that Administration giving the whole force of their powerful opposition to the first attempt at economy of a Reformed Parliament? The object of the hon. member for Middlesex was to send forth to the country some assurance that an end would be put to that odious system under which the people of England were taxed for the payment of exorbitant pensions and unmerited sinecures. The right hon. the First Lord of the Admiralty, thought it would be an act of immorality to curtail the patronage of the Crown. In his (Mr. Roebuck's) opinion, it was much more immoral to continue the distress of the country by the maintenance of their present burthens. It was true the emoluments in question were small, but the condition of the people imperatively demanded that every penny should be saved in every department. He did not think the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) expressed a very complimentary opinion of the army and navy, when he laid down the position that it was necessary to place at the disposal of the Crown, posts of emolument and honour, to induce gallant officers to do their duty. If such a position was just, he (Mr. Roebuck) entertained a very erroneous opinion of those individuals who composed the officers of his Majesty's service. The noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had adopted a similar position to that laid down by the right hon. Baronet. That noble Lord asserted that, by taking off 7,000l. of the public expense, the House would ruin the service. It was, indeed, paying the service a poor compliment, to say that the paltry sum of 7,000l. formed an officer's sole inducement in the performance of his duty. As to the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham's) argument, that it was superfluous in the House to vote a resolution respecting sinecures, as an opportunity was annually afforded on the bringing forward the Estimates, to withhold the salary attached to them, he had only to observe, that, in his opinion, it would be better to reverse the order of things, and defer making appointments until Parliament had voted the salaries. At present appointments were first made, and then the House of Commons was placed in the unpleasant situation either of wasting the public money or deceiving expectations. The noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had talked much of the proneness to liberality which the House of Commons always manifested. The noble Lord had not as yet tried a Reformed House of Commons. When he did so, he (Mr. Roebuck) trusted that that proneness to liberality would be transferred from particular individuals to a whole nation. [Cries of" Question" and "hear."] He would not persevere in his remarks if those interruptions continued. Perhaps his mode of address was not considered captivating enough to obtain attention from the House. The subject of the reduction of expenditure, and of the taxes, was one to which the people seemed more awake than any other. He should, for his own part, perhaps, prefer that it were not so, but he knew it to be a fact, that stronger opinions were held on these subjects than on any other. There were some taxes which were peculiarly odious, and which had called forth the loudest expressions of disapprobation throughout the kingdom. He alluded especially to the Assessed-taxes, the taxes on houses and windows, and the taxes on knowledge. When it was suggested to his Majesty's Ministers that those taxes should be taken off, the answer was, that it was impossible to abolish them, because the necessary expenses of the kingdom could not be met without them. He would beg to ask the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it would not be better to reduce the expenditure which made those taxes necessary, than by persisting in it, to endanger the peace and security of the country. The evil of over taxation was not alone the distress it created among that class on whom the taxes fell most heavily, but the disunion and jealousy it created between the lower classes and the higher, because the lower classes were apt to throw upon the higher classes the blame of all those evils which re- sult from that over taxation. Another great evil complained of, as connected with the national debt, was, that it was ruinous to public morality. He did not know whether the noble Lord opposite thought that there was any public morality, but he could assure the noble Lord that there was such a thing. He would go further than the hon. Member who introduced the subject under discussion to their notice, in the principle which he adopted. That hon. Member had moved a resolution, to the effect that sinecures were inexpedient as a means of rewarding public service. He (Mr. Roebuck) would go further—he would not pay where no services were performed—neither would he pay overmuch for services performed. He would proportion the remuneration to the service. Moreover, he would save every item of expenditure, however small, that could be saved. Sinecures must be done away with, in order to meet the expectations of the country.

Major Beauclerk

rose, amidst loud cries of "Question, question." He would only detain them for a very few minutes. He was convinced from his knowledge of military men—and he knew very many—that nothing was more hurtful to the army in general, or more disagreeable to the majority of the officers both of the army and navy, than those sinecures. He knew it to be the case; for nothing could be more disagreeable to them than the collision into which those sinecures brought them with the people, and the bad feelings they created throughout the country. They did not object to the particular services performed by officers being rewarded, and well rewarded; but they objected to the system of officers obtaining sinecures, not for services performed, but because they happened to have powerful friends in that House. It was amusing to hear the right hon. Baronet (the First Lord of the Admiralty) talk as if sinecures and pensions were always given to men of merit, and to men of merit only. He would grant that since that right hon. Gentleman was in office men of merit had been advanced to posts of honour and emolument; but he would beg the House to look to the service in general, and say whether the men who deserved best of their country for their services were those who enjoyed sinecures, or whether it was always merit which met with the greatest reward? He thought that the reverse of that proposition was very apparent in the public service, whether civil or military. He confessed that he felt much surprised at the manner in which the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had expressed himself towards the hon. member for Middlesex, in alluding to the taunt thrown out by that hon. Member against the hon. member for Cumberland, for not being so economical in his government, now that he was in office, as he was in his professions when he sat on the opposite side of the House. He (Major Beauclerk) could not forget that the right hon. Baronet was a member of that Ministry which, in in the last Parliament, by means of a packed majority, voted 100,000l. a-year to the Queen. He thought that that hon. Baronet, in giving his support to that measure, had broken faith with his constituents, as he was supported by them under a distinct pledge to promote economy in every department of the State. He knew that the people of this country were in deep distress, and that it was absolutely necessary to give them relief. The right hon. Baronet opposite seemed to think that there was but one way of obtaining that relief—that of reducing the taxes; but he (Major Beauclerk) thought that it was equally necessary to reduce the expenditure in every department. He thought it necessary to promote economy in all the public establishments. His Majesty's Ministers were called on to cut down the expense of every department, from the Crown downwards; and he would tell them, that if they did not, they would be buried in the same grave with their Tory predecessors. They might perhaps arrest the torrent, or chain the winds, but they would never stop the determination of the people to have a cheap and honest Government.

Captain Yorke

held opinions quite at variance with those expressed by the hon. member for Surrey. He was satisfied, at least as far as the navy was concerned, that pensions and sinecures were given to those officers in the service who best deserved them. He knew that, generally speaking, those situations were given to officers who had distinguished themselves by their long services in the cause of the state, and who, by virtue of those services, richly deserved the gratitude of that House and of their country, and the greatest honours from their King. He admitted that the right hon. Gentleman, the First Lord of the Admiralty, had reduced the expenditure of the navy; but he impaired its efficiency. He knew, from his own experience, that the efficiency of the navy was impaired by the reductions effected by the right hon. Gentleman. That right hon. Gentleman had saved one million on the whole expenditure; but that saving was effected on the most useful part of the naval force. It was effected by the reduction of 1,000 marines, and of 4,000 seamen, and by diminishing the expenditure on naval stores by 400,000l. He had seen the dock-yards at Portsmouth within the last six weeks, and he never saw a dockyard so clean swept. There were neither stores, nor timber, nor masts, nor cordage. He believed that if a line-of-battle ship were to put into that harbour with the loss of a mast, there would not be a lower-mast ready for her, nor even a top-sail-yard. He thought it the duty of the Government to look not only to the saving but to the efficiency of the service. As for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, he believed that that hon. Member was not so anxious to cut down the expenditure as to withdraw the patronage connected with the expenditure from the hands of the Crown, and place it in the hands of the people. Now he, for one, thought the Crown should be supported, and he called upon that House to stand by it. He agreed with the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that it was better to keep the present system of rewarding officers, by such appointments, than to adopt the plan proposed by the hon. member for Worcester, of increasing the pay. That would really be to take from Peter to pay Paul; but he should he sorry to see the country so ungrateful to the officers who had fought in its behalf. The hon. and learned member for Dublin said: "Let us divide—let us see who will vote for sinecures." That might be a very proper expression to catch popular favour, and he had no doubt that that was the purpose for which it was used. He, himself, was anxious for popularity, but he would not endeavour to obtain it by truckling to any one set of men. He would support such measures as he thought would be beneficial to every class of his Majesty's subjects, and to the honour and dignity of the Crown.

Mr. Cobbett

When I entered this House, almost the first word I heard from the right hon. Baronet opposite, the First Lord of the Admiralty was, that he despised popularity. Now I would just ask the right hon. Gentleman how many addresses he received from the people at the time when he brought forward his grand exposition of the 113 swallowers of the public money? I saw one of the answers made by that right hon. Gentleman to one of those addresses—I saw it in the hands of a respectable clergyman, who was one of those who got up the address, who had supported the right hon. Gentleman in his canvass for the county which he represents, and who cannot, therefore, be considered as particularly hostile to that Gentleman's administration—and that answer was, that he had much pleasure and satisfaction in having made a motion which pleased the people. Well, but in the search after popularity, I admit that those who do so by improper means, or for improper purposes, are very wrong, and deserve to be disappointed; but are we to be told, that because we seek for popularity by endeavouring to save the purses of the people, we have in that an improper motive. What fault is to be found with ray hon. and learned friend the member for Dublin—what crime is he guilty of that should draw down so many attacks on him from the other side of the House? His crime is this—that he is much beloved by the Irish people, and no other. When we propose measures to spare the purse of the people, the answer always is, how are we to pay the interest of the national debt? Why, even if there were not sufficient to meet the interest of the national debt, that would not be so bad as the proposition made by one of the present Ministers, who proposed to lay a tax of thirty per cent at once on all property in the funds. Now that was a way of getting rid of a considerable part of the debt at once, without taking anything from the pocket of any one of the people, with the exception of the fundholders alone. My objection to the present system of indirect taxation is this, that it does not fall with equal severity on all classes—that the taxes are taken from the middle and working classes, and given to the aristocracy and their dependents; and that, upon the whole taxation, the middle and working classes pay ten times as much as the nobility and landowners—that is, 4,000 percent in the one case, and 1,000 per cent in the other case. Stop, then, for five days, when the noble Lord opposite is to bring forward his Motion for the House to go into a Committee of Supply, and I pledge myself to prove the correctness of what I say; nay more, I pledge myself to demonstrate, that if the nobility the clergy, and the gentry had paid in the same proportion towards the taxes that the poorer classes have done, there would not be one farthing of that debt now due. Now, that is a statement which I think will be interesting. [A laugh.] Well may they laugh that pocket the money. I have only one more observation to make to the right hon. Member opposite, relative to that Motion which exposed those 113 sackers of the public money, who pocket 650,000l. of the money of the people—a sum equal to the wages of 163,000 weavers, and to the Poor rates of the first five counties in England, taking them in alphabetical order, or to all the poor rates in the whole of Wales. That right hon. Gentleman said, in bringing forward the motion—which he did with ability and public spirit, which did him the greatest credit—that "if this statement made no impression on that House nothing could." Now, I will remind the right hon. Gentleman, that that abuse still exists, and that he has been two years in office; and I say that if that statement makes no impression, nothing will.

Sir Ronald Ferguson

said, that as he had always been an advocate for economy, and had invariably supported the hon. member for Middlesex in every measure of retrenchment which he had proposed, he thought it proper that he should give his reasons why he meant to vote against his present Motion. The first of the resolutions moved by the hon. Member he thought should be supported by every man who was a friend to his country; but the second resolution required, in his opinion, further investigation. He was not at all afraid of opposing the hon. Member on this question, because he must be aware that he did not oppose the Motion from any wish not to enforce economy in every department, but because he did not consider it as coming plainly before them at present. He was inclined to support the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the subject. He could assure the House, that when the question of the abolition of an office came before them, in which there was no duty to do, he would with all his heart vote for having it done away. He was an equal enemy to sinecures, whether civil or military. He would vote against the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, but at the same time he was ready to support the abolition of any office, which, on investigation should be found to be unnecessary or impolitic.

Sir Oswald Mosley

said, that he had given his support to the Ministry hitherto, because he thought that their measures deserved support, but on this occasion he regretted that he should be obliged to withdraw his support. He was the last man in the world who would object to giving those who had served their country, with honour to themselves, and advantage to the State, an adequate reward, but he thought the better way would be to remunerate every man according to his work.

Mr. Sheil

was a good deal surprised at the manner in which the right hon. Baronet, the first Lord of the Admiralty, had expressed himself on one subject—an expression made use of with that peculiar modesty for which that Gentleman was distinguished. He (Mr. Sheil) was struck with his saying that "he gave such and such offices—he made such and such appointments," Now he (Mr. Sheil) thought that the sole question was, whether that right hon. Gentleman should continue to give those offices in future; whether he was to select the individuals on whom to confer such offices; or that the House of Commons should have the selections of the proper objects of reward. He begged that no Member should consider the question at issue, as to the continuance or abolition of the offices in question; the real question was, whether his Majesty's Ministers should have the power to confer rewards on the public servants; whether they were to be the medium through which the gloriously maimed, and illustriously mutilated—[Laughter]. They might laugh; but he saw no reason to retract the expression—he saw no reason why those who were wounded in defence of their country, should not be considered as gloriously maimed, and illustriously mutilated. The question was whether the right hon. Gentleman was to have the choice of those who should be marked out for reward and distinction. He thought that the right hon. Member attached more consequence to the effect of the prospect of the reward than it deserved. He (Mr. Sheil) doubted if the British soldier, when mounting the breach at St. Sebastian, thought much of the rewards which a grateful nation would bestow on its brave defenders. But that was no reason why the soldier and sailor should be forgotten, and in their latter days have no part in that opulence their bravery had secured to others. When they turned their steps homewards, they should find a comfortable home to welcome them. He agreed, then, with the right hon. Gentleman, as to the propriety of the gift—the only point of difference was, whether his Majesty's Ministers or the House of Commons were to have the selection of those who were deserving of rewards. His Majesty's Ministers contended that they had the right of distribution. He could not agree with the hon. Baronet in that conclusion. In the choice of objects, it was proper that the public should be satisfied that the most deserving were chosen. How was that to be known but by the choice emanating from the people's Representatives? The conclusion necessarily to be drawn was, that the House of Commons ought to exercise the control over the choice. He did not mean to say, that the present Ministers were men who would abuse the power. They had shown, by the great redactions already effected, that they were sincerely disposed to lighten the burthens of the country; but, having gone so far, let them take care that they did not stop too soon; let them take care that in thus stopping short—and that, too, for a matter in itself comparatively trifling—they did not risk the loss of that which ought to be to them above all price—the confidence of the country. If the amount of the salary attached to those places were small, it was an admission that it did not afford the means of rewarding naval and military services as they deserved. Why, then, contend for the continuance of that which was inefficient for its object, when less objectionable modes of reward were in their power? The argument of those who supported this Motion was not for the abolition of the reward, but the abolition of the sinecure. It was said, that the proper time to make the objection to these offices would be when the Estimates should come before the House. But let hon. Members consider that the case would then be different. It would not then be whether the office should be abolished, but whether A, B, or C, should lose so much income. Was it not admitted on all hands that questions relating to sinecure, or alleged sinecure places, could be best discussed without any reference to the individual holding them; for when the name of some distinguished General or Admiral was connected with such sinecures, Members were but too apt to lose their antipathy to the sinecure, in sympathy for the man. The hon Member who had introduced the subject, mentioned the appointment to the office of Constable of the Round Tower at Windsor. He adverted to the subject now, not as a topic for declamation, but merely to show what an effect it had when the names of individuals were mentioned. To get rid of this difficulty, they ought not to wait until the estimates should come before them, when it must be considered almost as a personal matter; but to decide it now, when they might do so as an abstract question, and without in any way mixing up or touching upon the delicacy of individual feeling. The question was one of the highest importance, involving, as it did, so important a principle; and, under the circumstances he had stated, he should feel it his duty to give his support to the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex.

Sir John Hobhouse

said, that he should not feel it necessary to trespass on the indulgence of the house for more than a very few moments; but after what had fallen from some hon. Members opposite, he could not allow the discussion to close without saying a few words. He fully concurred with the hon. and learned member for Louth ["No, no"]—for Kerry ["No"]—for Tipperary. He begged pardon, but hon. Gentlemen changed their counties so frequently that it was difficult to avoid such mistakes. He fully concurred with the hon. and learned member for Tipperary, that the question before the House was one of the highest importance. It was no more nor less than this—was the control of the army to be placed in the hands of the Executive, acting by its responsible advisers, or in the House of Commons? It was not a mere question of pounds, shillings, and pence, or of confidence in one Government or another; but, it was a question he repeated, whether the House of Commons should leave the distribution of military rewards in the hands of the responsible advisers of the Crown, subject, however, to its own annual revision, or take them all to itself without any immediate responsibility? He regretted that many hon. Members had been led away from the actual question before the House, to go into matters not much connected with it. One hon. Member had spoken of pensions and places, as if they were under the same regulations. But was there not this important difference between them—that the pensions were chargeable on the Consolidated Fund, and not subject to the annual revision of that House, while all naval and military appointments must come under their consideration with the Estimates from year to year? And if he judged rightly of the feelings of a Reformed Parliament, it would not be much disposed to let any case of abuse pass unnoticed, or unredressed. He was somewhat surprised at the language of the hon. and gallant member for Surrey (Major Beauclerk), who talked of Ministers appealing to packed majorities of that House. [Major Beauclerk: I spoke of the last Parliament.] He begged pardon. He had understood the hon. Member to apply his remarks to this Parliament. It was not according to the constitution of the country that this remuneration should, in the first instance, be granted by the Commons House of Parliament; and no hon. Gentleman had ventured to deny, that, on the whole, the military pay of a general officer, and, indeed, of some subalterns, was insufficient and inadequate to the merits of their services. His hon. and gallant friend the member for Worcester (Colonel Davies) had said that meritorious services should be provided for in another manner, and that the pay of a general officer was not sufficient, and ought to be greater; and the hon. member for Middlesex had observed that, in the case of old meritorious officers, God forbid that anything should be taken from them. But the whole question simply was, whether or not the Parliament of the country was to be the judge as well as paymasters of these services. The House could not but recollect and bear in mind the sort of canvassing which took place in the mere trivial measures of road and railway bills, and in other cases where the interests of bodies of individuals were concerned; and on such subjects as those sought now to be brought before the House, what, he would inquire, would be the extent of the canvassing? The same invidiousness which attached to the case of a private bill, would attach in a tenfold degree to the consideration of an original grant by the House of Commons. Unless they meant to alter the whole constitution of the country, they must leave in the hands of the Crown the power to reward its military and naval servants. It was not fair to the King's Government, nor to the consideration of this question, to call these provisions for services sinecures, according to the common sense and meaning of the word. True it was, that many officers enjoying these provisions were not doing duty; but it might as well be said, that half-pay was a sinecure as that such appointments were sinecures. The hon. member for Middlesex had said, that he would pay no man unless it were for services actually performed. Neither would he; but, at the same time, he would contend that superannuated or retired allowances must be considered as for meritorious past services, in the same manner as half-pay; and it was invidious, improper, and ungracious, to call such provisions sinecures. He did not know that it was necessary for him to say, that the Government with which he was connected had neither attempted, nor was it their wish to conceal anything whatsoever with reference to these grants. The items, the names of the parties, and their services, had been laid before the House, and all that the Government contended for was, that considering the pay of general officers to be insufficient (as it was admitted to be), in cases of extraordinary merit, the King ought to have the power to make such grants. If hon. Members were to look over and examine three or four of these lists, they would see how impossible it would be for the House to arrange them. Hebegged to call the attention of hon. Members to one or two cases contained in the lists of grants, to which allusion had been made. The first name he would mention was that of a Colonel Dumas, a most meritorious officer, who, after a service of many years, became blind, and by the regulations was not entitled to receive retired full pay, inasmuch as he had not been wounded in action. In the case of that gallant officer, a small town majorship had been given him, and such a grant, if the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex were to pass, could not be made. Again, there was another gentleman, Colonel Grant, who, by the brevet rank from Waterloo, had obtained an accession to his half-pay of about 10d. a-day. The next to whom he would refer, was a distinguished officer, Colonel Loftus Gray, of the Rifle Brigade, who, having been seriously wounded, was entitled to a small pension, and who had, in addition, received an equally small appointment in one of these governorships. He would not further allude to the case of Sir James Bathurst, whose merits had been detailed so fully by his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, than to express his conviction, that no person, after such a detail, could think, that the remuneration specially granted to the gallant officer to whom he alluded, was more than his meritorious services deserved. Such rewards, he repeated, were not sinecures, but just remunerations for past services performed for the country, and allowed to men who must, at least, enjoy the approbation and sympathy of their fellow-countrymen. They were superannuation allowances for men whose rewards were, it was admitted on all hands, small and insufficient. But the real gist of the question before the House, was, whether or not the control of the naval and military service, and the distribution of high rewards, should be left (as by the Constitution it ought to be) in the hands of the Crown, or transferred to the control of the Parliament. The transfer, would in his opinion, be far from judicious. Some of these governorships were worth only 200l. or 300l. a-year; but as they had some kind of dignity and respect attached to them, they were a cheap method of rewarding eminent services. By the system at present pursued, a saving was made, and if any other was adopted, it would be at an increase of expense; for officers looked to the honour of the appointments as well as to the emoluments they derived from them; and, if such appointments were not open to them, it was admitted by the common consent of the House, that an increase of pay must be given for the services they were called upon to perform. Before he concluded, he could not but remind the House of the difficult situation of individuals connected with the present, or any Government, for, instead of receiving credit for any measure of retrenchment that might be adopted, they were gratuitously taken to task, and it was soon found, that in pursuing these measures of retrenchment they made enemies, both of those they displaced, and those who demanded further retrenchments. The hon. member for Mid- dlesex (Mr. Hume) had the other day made an observation, which had not a little amused him (Sir John Hobhouse). The hon. Member had said, that the great duty of the Reformed House of Commons would be, to make the Ministry feel a little uneasy. He was certain that the hon. Gentleman had done that for every Ministry; and he could also assure him that he (Sir John Hobhouse) had not enjoyed a comfortable ten minutes since he had been in office. He could assure the House that he found no pleasure in being badgered night after night by the hon. Member and his friends, who were in the habit of making war upon all Administrations. He, however, hoped he had faithfully discharged his duty; and he trusted, notwithstanding what had been advanced in reference to the feelings of the people towards the Government, that they would, as they had already done, do the Ministers justice. He believed the people were not that fickle, wavering, and inconstant body that some persons had described them; and, although it might be true that all governments ought to be watched, yet he would say, make no government uneasy, so as to render them unable, not only to do any duty at all, but to make it incapable of completing any useful act whatever. He must also advert to what had fallen from the hon. member for Surrey (Major Beauclerk), with regard to the expectations of the people from the Government, which he would illustrate by a fact of recent occurrence. A public meeting had been called for that day, of the inhabitants of Westminster, to be held in Covent Garden, for the purpose of petitioning for the repeal of the Septennial Act, for the introduction of the Vote by Ballot, and for the repeal of the Assessed taxes. The meeting had been fixed by the High Bailiff at 12 for 1 o'clock, at which hour that functionary came, and he (Sir John Hobhouse) believed that the hon. member for Surrey was of the party. There were then about seventy oreighty persons assembled round the hustings, but upon them none at all, upon which the High Bailiff expressed a wish to know the names of the gentlemen who were to perform on the occasion. [Major Beauclerk was not one of them.] The High Bailiff observed, that he had understood that several gentlemen whom he named, and some of whom he saw on the other side of the House, had promised, and had been ex- pected to attend; but, as no individual appeared, he was obliged to dissolve or adjourn the meeting. Did the hon. member for Surrey find in that any proof of the torrent or the storm which was to sweep the Whigs into the same grave as the Tories? He was satisfied that there was not any of that spirit of restlessness existing in the people, which had been ascribed to them, except only as to real grievances; and it was unfair to attack the Government as being insensible to those real grievances, for they were more sensible of them than any other men in the kingdom, and they were willing to provide and apply all practical remedies for them. The Government was determined to do its duty, and they looked to a Reformed Parliament for its assistance, and, by their conduct, to meet their reward.

Mr. Strickland

could not avoid addressing a few words to the House, to account for the vote which he should give on the present occasion. He owed his seat in that House to his adherence to Reform, his advocacy of every retrenchment, and his enmity to all sinecures; and it might be asked, why, on the Motion now before the House, he gave his vote to Ministers. He hesitated not to say that he should do so, because, even if he gave his support to the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, he should not effect a saving of 1s. to the public. The proposition of the hon. Member was only an abstract one, which the people of England would not value, and he required to see something like substance. Since he had been in Parliament he had voted with Ministers, and followed them in their great career of usefulness, especially in the cause of Reform; and, rejoicing as he did, in the magnificent plan announced a few evenings back, of a Reform in the Irish Church, and in the hope of fighting with them the battle of a Reform in the English Church Establishment. He should have great reluctance, at such a great crisis, in joining the hon. member for Middlesex in his abstract proposition, which he (Mr. Strickland) believed from his heart had been only brought forward with a view to embarrass his Majesty's Ministers.

Mr. Labouchere

would trespass but a few moments upon the attention of the House, nor would he enter into any argument upon the question, being content to rest his vote upon the speeches of the right hon. Baronet and the noble Lord below him. He regarded the matter before the House as a constitutional rather than an economical question, and he thought that the House was now called upon to decide, not whether the list of places was too large, but whether places should exist at all; and he was prepared to say that, living under a monarchy, he hoped never to see the patronage of the army and navy transferred to the popular assembly of the nation; for if the system of canvassing which had been mentioned went on in reference to those two great services of the State, the transfer, he believed, would entail the greatest evils upon the country. He had, however, been principally induced to rise on the present occasion in consequence of the observation of an hon. Gentleman opposite, who had said, that he was not indisposed to support the policy if he knew the appointments were not ill disposed of. He would refer to the list before the House, and from that it would appear that the whole sum amounted only to 4,740l., and comprised the names of Sir Edward Thornborough, Vice-admiral of England; Sir George Martin, Rear-admiral; Lord De Saumarez, General of Marines; Sir Sydney Smith, Lieutenant-general of Marines; and Sir George Cockburn, Major-general of Marines; besides four Colonels of Marines, taken from the most distinguished captains in the British navy. As a member of the Admiralty Board he must advert to an observation which had fallen from the hon. and gallant Officer the member for Cambridgeshire, who had said that the dock-yards and the store-houses of the United Kingdom were in such a state as to place the country in most serious danger. It had also been said in another place that the consequence of such a state of things was, that the river Thames was open to invasion, and that if a ship were beaten in from a foreign coast there were no provisions to refit even a mast. Regretting as he did, that such observations should have been made on this occasion, as on a fitting opportunity they could be fully met, he must, in the meantime, be allowed to assure the House that there was at present in the dockyards a more abundant supply of all the articles of naval stores than when the late Administration quitted office.

Capt. Yorke

had spoke of Portsmouth, in which dock-yard there was not, he believed, a lower mast for a line of battle ship.

Captain Dundas

said, that after having served his country in the wars, he had been sent to that House by an independent constituency; and he must declare his conviction, as an officer and a Gentleman, that the navy of England was never in a more effective state than at present. He would also add, that the country paid enough for it, and he spoke as a payer and a receiver. The pensions were the reward of meritorious services, and but few, after a service of fifty years, received more than 300l. per annum, which he could not consider too much for such men as Sir Christopher Cole, Captain Bouverie, and others. He regretted, that the hon. member for Middlesex had not said something more of the navy, for he could assure the hon. Member, that inquiry into that branch of the service was courted.

Sir Edward Codrington

would venture to observe, that though he would willingly come before the House to have his conduct, before any reward had been conferred upon him for any services he might have rendered to his country, canvassed, yet he would prefer to have that reward conferred by the opinion of the highest power of the realm, subject to the confirmation of the House. In giving an opinion on the subject, he must say, he felt that the interests of the service were concerned, and he felt persuaded that the pensions were as much the right of those who possessed them as was the half-pay of those who had acquired it. He said, that both were a right, because it had been insinuated that the half-pay was merely a retaining fee for future, and not a reward for past, services. This position could not be maintained, when it was remembered that the seaman after fourteen' years service, received his reward: and was not the same principle to be extended to the officer? Determined as he was, to support Ministers on the present occasion, he must add, viewing the matter as a question of economy, that the system of conferring distinction with small pay was the most economical that could be adopted. The remuneration to naval officers was much overrated; and he would venture to say that, if accounts could be produced since the year 1785, with a statement of all that he had received, it would be seen that he was considerably out of pocket by his services. He objected to the consideration of the question as one of sinecures, and though he would go as far as any man in putting down all sinecures not earned, and all pensions not for real services, yet he would give his firm support to the Ministers on the present occasion.

Sir Francis Burdett

thought no further arguments on the subject were necessary, after the speeches of the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and the right hon. Baronet, his own colleague. He only rose, therefore, to vindicate his independence as a Member of Parliament. He had heard, this evening, addresses made to the House which surprised him, and which were very well adapted for the Corn Exchange in Dublin, or a promiscuous multitude assembled round Covent-garden, but in a deliberative assembly such addresses were not to be expected. Was this House to be told that the people expected this or that? Every honest man placed before the eyes of the world as a legislator in this country would not, he trusted and believed, be swayed by such observation, nor hesitate in giving such a judgment on the question as his conscience approved. No better service could be done than by bringing before the people, in a true point of view, this question, that the public might not be led away with what had been called sinecures, without thought or consideration, but which did not apply to the subject before the House. So far from the system being an additional demand upon the purse of the country, it was a diminution instead of a tax on either the rich or the poor. If services were to be rewarded, the present so far was a question of economy; but as a great constitutional question his vote would be determined. A vulgar view—ad captandum—had been taken of the subject to excite the indignation of the people by the suggestion that the Government were taking unjustly and unfairly from the pockets of the people; but, he repeated, the present was a cheap mode of rewarding the services of individuals not to be designated as sinecurists, but as emeriti—in a word, officers preferring the high honour of any situation in which they might be placed to mere emolument. There had been much of exaggeration on the present occasion; but he expected from this Reformed Parliament a calm, judgment, a dispassionate consideration, and a susceptibility of being impressed with the justice of the subject, rather than a yielding to any reasoning, however ex- aggerated. Such he anticipated would be now the case, because the great body of the House not only felt with, but participated in, the feelings of the people of England. These exaggerations tended to much harm, and however accurate the hon. member for Middlesex might be as to the sum to which the salary of Mr. Speaker Onslow would now with compound interest have amounted, it did not bear on the question. It might as well have been urged that the salary of Mr. Speaker Lenthall would, at the same computation, have amounted to a sum equal to the full discharge of the national debt. These were the sort of preposterously theoretical arguments usually urged by the hon. Gentleman, which in his opinion had nothing whatever to do with the question. Appeals to figures were always misleading, and never more than in this instance. But even if they were not misleading, he could conscientiously vote on this occasion against the Motion; because he was satisfied, that the question was of comparatively little importance; and was not of sufficient importance to justify them in impeding the proceedings of Ministers, who were engaged with very important public business, by such debates. The Gentlemen opposite—at least some of them—complained of the Reformed Parliament, because the Reformed Parliament was not an instrument in their hands. The people had now got a Reformed Parliament capable of putting down abuses, and Ministers were engaged in putting them down. While the old system existed, he had signalized its abuses as much as any man; but the people were not to be told, before the Reformed Parliament had well got together, that it was incapable of executing its office, because it did not go along with all the projects of the Gentlemen who wished to make use of it for their own purposes. There were great projects on foot. One hon. Gentleman announced that he was to prove that the rich paid no taxes. He should be glad to have that made out, and glad to see any plans by which the taxes—which were a burthen to all—could be distributed and arranged, so that no man should feel them. Not to touch upon other such projects, he would advert to what the hon. and learned member for Dublin said. That hon. and learned Member said, that a relative of a noble Lord, a noble Duke, ought not to hold a coloaelcy of a regiment, because he was a Duke. [No.] He so understood it, and the hon. and learned Member censured that noble Duke for holding a sinecure. The hon. and learned Member said, that a colonelcy of a regiment was a sinecure—why it was one of the great rewards which were given to a long life of brilliant military services. The hon. and learned Member would then keep all regiments from passing into the hands of noblemen, and he would keep all Dukes out of the army—describing their rewards as sinecures which they received for their services. But what would be the effect if the noble Duke were not to take his pay? Why the effect would be, either that no man must go into the array who was not able to live wholly without its rewards, or who had nothing else but its pay. And what would be the consequence of that? All regiments must be given to those who were not gentlemen; and a great writer had said that, in the leading profession of arms, no man could expect successfully to command, who was not a Gentleman. Everything that could make the profession fit for a gentleman was there, and to gratify the noble ambition of serving a man's country in the army was often the stimulus to many honourable exertions. The effect, he believed, of the hon. and learned Member's plan would be most injurious to the army. Nothing could be so mischievous; and he was glad that the noble Duke was colonel of a regiment—glad that he took his salary; and he hoped that the ranks of the army would long be filled with persons of that description. To say that an officer, who had served, and was a Colonel of a regiment, was not to take the pay, because he was a nobleman, would be of the greatest detriment to the public service. He felt, that he ought to oppose the Motion, and he should do that if there were some risk in it and some merit in it, though there was not likely to be any risk, and therefore no merit; but if there were all possible risk on his part, and therefore a great deal of merit in opposing it, he should do so, and do it conscientiously, and he should do the same if he were speaking in the Parliament on College-green, though he might not do it there with an equal degree of safety.

Mr. Maurice O'Connell

was surprised at the speech of the hon. Baronet. Before the hon. Baronet made any allusions to speeches at College-green or any where else—and made those allusions as re- proaches —the hon. Baronet ought to wipe out of his own recollection, and the recollection of the House, that there was such a place as Palace-yard. The hon. Baronet was now supporting sinecures, though for twenty-five years, in every speech he had littered, and every address he had sent forth to his constituents, he had abused sinecures as the plague spots of the State. He begged in particular the hon. Baronet not to forget, that in one of his addresses to the electors of Westminster, before he was sitting on the Ministerial side of the House, he not only talked of sinecures as evils, but he told the people not to rest till they had made all the sinecurists disgorge all that they had ever taken in past times of their ill-gotten and enormous wealth. The present Motion did not go to make the sinecurists disgorge what they had got; it only went to prevent them gorging in future; but the hon. Baronet, in the fervour of his zeal, when he was on that side of the House, wished to have a law with a retrospective operation. He wished the hon. Baronet joy of his consistency. The hon. Baronet talked of arguments ad captandum valgus; but if ever there was a man who had made use of such arguments, who had indeed lived upon them, it was the hon. Baronet. If the hon. Baronet had left that off, he might at least suffer others to catch the mantle that was falling from his own shoulders, now that he was ascending to the third heaven. The right hon. Baronet the other member for Westminster, had said that some speeches were intended for the public hustings, so the two members for Westminster seemed to hunt in couples. [Sir John Hobhouse was understood to deny that he had made any such allusion.] Certainly the right hon. and hon. Baronets acted together, and he had only to say that when they came to the hustings again, they might find more difficulty in defending their conduct. The hon. Baronet said, the Gentlemen who supported the Motion did not like the Reformed Parliament, because it was not an instrument in their hands. The hon. Baronet was hasty in coming to a conclusion, that they had no weight in the House because they were not numerously supported on the only question they had yet debated; but let the hon. Baronet wait till those debates went forth to the country, let him see what impression they made, and what support the people gave to the opposition, and then see whether or not they had weight in the Parliament. The hon. Baronet would find, he believed, that they had great weight on this very question of sinecures. The hon. Baronet had talked unfairly of the argument of the hon. and learned member for Dublin relative to the noble Duke, who was a Colonel of a regiment. What the hon. and learned Member said was, that the sum which went to that noble Duke might be much better appropriated to five or six poor and meritorious officers. The hon. and learned Member concluded by saying, that he would vote for the Motion on principle, and because he had seen two instances of sinecures in the county with which he was connected that were worth 600l. a-year, given to persons, one of whom at least had no claim from services, and that sum of money would support a hundred starving labourers for six months.

Mr. Briscoe

could not give a silent vote on this question, particularly as he meant to vote in a different manner from his hon. Colleague who had already spoken. If he gave his vote for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, he should be voting for a great constitutional change. Secondly, if he gave his vote for that Motion, he should not, as had been stated by the hon. Member opposite, give any relief to the people of England. He should not give them any relief, but, on the contrary, he should take a large sum of money out of their pockets. It was a great constitutional principle, that the control of the army should be placed in the hands of the Crown, subject to the vote of that House; but the Motion would vest the control of the army directly in the House. If he were an important Member, he would move an Amendment, to the effect, that an inquiry be made whether or not military sinecures could not be placed on the same footing as the sinecures of the navy. Surely, nobody would say, that the places which were given to naval officers—nobody would say that the office of Rear-Admiral of England was a sinecure which ought to be abolished. He would give his vote honestly against the Motion, because it would not give relief; though he should be ready to give relief by any sacrifices he could make.

Mr. Hume

rose to reply. He meant to detain the House but a very few minutes, but there were some things he must remark upon. The hon. member for Taun- ton said, that in a monarchy there must be sinecures, and the hon. member for Surrey said, this was a great constitutional question, and that the House was going to take the command of the army; but it was not so. Now, if fifty sinecures be good things, why not 500 or 5,000l If it was good in principle, let them follow up the principle, and establish as many sinecures as possible. The hon. Baronet talked of courting popularity, but no man had done so more than the hon. Baronet, and though he might do so no longer, let him not blame those who were only imitating his former example. The hon. Baronet had long opposed the Tory faction, because they gave all the offices of the State to the dependents of the Aristocracy; but what did he now say? Why that all the officers of the army must be gentlemen. The hon. Baronet actually asserted that no man could expect to be a successful officer who was not a gentleman. Why what was Napoleon before he was an officer, and what were many of Napoleon's best Generals? A more preposterous proposition than that of the hon. Baronet he had never heard. He objected to sinecures in principle, and he had introduced the discussion on principle only. They were payments, but payments under a false name. They were pretexts, and therefore he wanted to have them abolished. The gallant General, the member for Nottingham, said he would vote for the Motion if any one of the offices was a complete sinecure. Why here was a case of a man holding an office in Canada, who had never left England. Was not that a sinecure? So with the whole list. Not one of them hardly was a resident at the place where his office was, and every such office was a complete sinecure. He confidently claimed, therefore, the vote of the gallant Officer. There was the case of Admiral Cockburn, who was now on his way to the West Indies, and who was a General of Marines. Could anything be a more complete sinecure than that? He made this Motion with no view to harass the Government, but to warn it. He had never seen sinecures (though he was almost ashamed to say it) half so well defended by the Tories as they now were by the Whigs. The Tories, if they ever came back to office, might learn something of the hon. Member opposite. Such a perversion of language indeed—in their mouths, it was quite a new language—he had never heard. The right hon. Baronet said that these sinecures had been retained for no other purpose but to reward distinguished talents. [Sir J. Hothouse: I said the alleged purpose.] Be it so; but it was not the actual purpose. What was the statement of the hon. member for Devonport? That hon. and gallant Member, who had served his country long and arduously, did not get more than was given to two striplings, who were the King's sons. It was not without a feeling of shame that he had heard that gallant Officer say, he had been out of pocket by serving his country; and why should he not receive that 600l. as Lieutenant of the Tower, which was given to a stripling? That showed that these sinecures were not employed to reward services. That he was not influenced by malicious motives, he could show by his conduct last Session, He had then stated what he should do this Session. He had made great sacrifices to support Ministers then, though he differed from them on many of their financial plans. He had supported them, and he had acquired unpopularity by supporting them; but he thought that they ought to be supported while they were engaged in the work of Reform. But were they for ever to go on in the same way? He had defended the Ministers last Session because they were carrying on that great Reform which he regarded as a means to an end, and was it to be expected that now that they had the means they were to stop short, and not seek the end? What was wanted was cheap Government and the extinction of abuses, and for that end Reform was desired. He would leave it to the people of England to say whether or not it was wrong if Ministers desired, as he most anxiously desired, that they should go on in the plan of removing abuses. He would leave it to the people of England to say whether or not it was right to preserve these sinecures. He lamented to see the Members doing so, as the people had long determined on the abolition of these sinecures, considering them as the means by which Members of that House and of the other House were bribed and corrupted to trample on the rights of the people. They would be less than freemen if they submited to such treatment. The Secretary at War said it would interfere with the prerogative of the Crown, and he had discussed the estimates. The right hon. Secretary should have enough of that by-and-by. In conclusion, the hon. Member called on the House, if they valued principle, to vote for his Motion.

The House then divided on the previous question.

Ayes 232; Noes 138—Majority 94.

List of the NOES.
ENGLAND. Langdale, hon. C.
Aglionby, H. A. Lennox, Lord W.
Astley, Sir J. D. Lester, B. L.
Attwood, T. Marsland, T.
Bayntun, Capt. S. A. Molesworth, Sir W.
Beauclerk, Maj. A. W. Mosley, Sir O.
Berkeley, hon. G. C. Ord, W. H.
Boiling, W. Palmer, General C.
Bowes, J. Phillips, C.M.
Briggs, R. Philips, M.
Brodie, W. B. Phillpotts, J.
Brotherton, J. Plumptre, J. P.
Buckingham, J. S. Potter, R.
Buller, C. Pryme, G.
Buller, E. Ricardo, D.
Bulwer, E. L. Rippon, C.
Bulwer, H. L. Roebuck, J. A.
Cayley, E. S. Romilly, J.
Chaytor, W. R. C. Romilly, E.
Clay, W. Shawe, R. N.
Cobbett, W. Simeon, Sir R.
Curteis, H. B. Spry, S. T.
Davies, Col. T. H. Strutt, E.
Dawson, E. Tancred, H. W.
Divett, E. Tennyson, rt. hon. C.
Dykes, F. L. Thicknesse, R. W.
Ellis, W. Tooke, W.
Etwall, R. Townley, R. G.
Evans, W. Trelawney, W. S.
Ewart, W. Turner, W.
Fancourt, Major Vernon, hon. G. J.
Fellowes, hon. N. Vincent, Sir F.
Fellowes, H. A. W. Walker, R.
Feilden, W. Warburton, H.
Fenton, J. Wilks, J.
Fielden, John Williams, Col. G.
Fryer, R. Wood, M.
Gaskell, D. SCOTLAND.
Gisborne, T. Dunlop, Capt. J.
Godson, R. Gillon, W. D.
Goring, H. D. Kinloch, George
Grote, George Oliphant, L.
Guest, J. J. Oswald, R. A.
Gulley, J. Oswald, J.
Hall, B. Pringle, R.
Harland, W. C. Wallace, R.
Harvey, D. W. Wemyss, Capt. J.
Hawes, B. IRELAND.
Hawkins, J. H. Baldwin, Dr.
Hill, M. D. Barry, G. S.
Hodges, T. L. Bellew, R. M.
Hodgson, J. Butler, hon. P.
Humphery, J. Daunt, W. J.
Hutt, W. Finn, W. F.
Ingilby, Sir W. A. Fitzsimon, C.
Jervis, J. Fitzsimon, N.
Key, Sir J. Fitzgerald, T.
King, E. B. French, F.
Grattan, J. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Grattan, Henry Roche, David
Lalor, Patrick Roche, W.
Lynch, A. H. Roe, James
Maclachlan, L. Rorke, J. H.
Martin, J. Ruthven, E. S.
Nagle, Sir R. Ruthven, E.
O'Brien, Cornelius Sheil, R. L.
O'Connell, Maurice Sullivan, R.
O'Connell, John Vigors, N. A.
O'Connell, Morgan Wallace, T.
O'Connell, Charles TELLERS.
O'Connor, Fergus Hume, J.
O'Dwyer, A. C. Robinson, G. R.
List of the AYES.
ENGLAND. Folkes, Sir W.
Adams, E. H. Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Althorp, Viscount Fox, Lieut.-Col. C. R.
Ashley, Lord Frankland, Sir R.
Bainbridge, E. T. Gaskell, J. M.
Baring, H. B. Gladstone, W. E.
Baring, W. B. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Baring, F. T. Gordon, R.
Beaumont, T. W. Goulburn, right hon. H.
Benelt, J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. R. G.
Bernal, R.
Blackstone, W. S. Greville, hon. Sir C.
Blake, Sir F. Grey, hon. Colonel
Briscoe, J. I. Gronow, Capt. R. H.
Brocklehurst, J. Grosvenor, rt. hn. Lord Robert
Brougham, W.
Bruce, Lord E. Halford, H.
Bulteel, J. C. Handley, W. F.
Burdett, Sir F. Hanmer, Sir J.
Burrell, Sir C. Bart. Hardinge, right hon. Sir H.
Byng, G.
Calcraft, John Henniker, Lord
Campbell, Sir J. Herbert, hon. S.
Carter, J. B. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. C.
Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Cavendish, Lord Home, Sir W.
Cavendish, hon. Col. H. F. Hotham, Lord
Howick, Viscount
Cayley, Sir G. Hudson, T.
Chapman, A. Hyett, W. H.
Chaytor, Sir William Ingham, R.
Clive, E. B. James, W.
Codrington, Sir E. Keppel, hon. G.
Crawley, S. Labouchere, H.
Dare, R. W. H. Lambton, H.
Darlington, Earl of Lamont, Captain N.
Denison, J. E. Langton, Colonel G.
Denison, W. J. Lefevre, C. S.
Dilwyn, L. W. Lefevre, J. G. S.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Lemon, Sir C.
Duncannon, Viscount Lennard, T. B.
Dundas, Capt. J. W. Lennard, Sir T. B.
Eastnor, Viscount Lennox, Lord J. G.
Ebrington, Viscount Lennox, Lord A.
Egerton, W. T. Littleton, E. J.
Ellice, E. Lumley, Viscount
Fazakerley, J. N; Lushington, Dr. S.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Lygon, hon. Col. H. B.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Maberly, Col. W. L.
Foley, J. H. Macaulay, T. B.
Mahon, Viscount Wedgwood, J.
Marshall, J. Weyland, Major R.
Martin, J. Whitbread, W. H.
Methuen, P. Whitmore, W.
Meynell, Captain H. Wilbraham, G.
Mildmay, P. St. J. Williams, W. A.
Mills, John Williamson, Sir H.
Molyneux, Lord Willoughby, Sir H.
Morpeth, Viscount Wood, Colonel T.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L. Wood, Charles
Nicholl, J. Wrottesley, Sir J.
Noel, Sir G. York, Captain C. P.
North, F. Young, J.
Palmerston, Viscount Young, G. F.
Parker, J.
Patten, J. W. SCOTLAND.
Pechell, Sir S. J. B. Abercromby, rt. hon. J.
Pelham, hon. C. A. Adam, Admiral C.
Pendarves, E. W. Agnew, Sir A.
Pepys, C. C. Baillie, Colonel J.
Peter, W. Bannerman, A.
Petre, hon. E. Callander, J. H.
Phillips, Sir R. Colquhoun, J. C.
Philips, Sir G. Dalmeny, Lord
Pinney, W. Elliot, hon. Capt. G.
Poulter, J. Ferguson, R.
Price, Sir R. Ferguson, G.
Pugh, D. Fleming, hon. A. C.
Rice, right hon. T. S. Hay, Col. A. L.
Richards, J. Jeffrey, right hon. F.
Rickford, W. Johnston, A.
Rider, T. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Robarts, A. W. Kennedy, T. F.
Rooper, J. B. Loch, J.
Russell, rt. hon. Lord J. Mackenzie, J. A. S.
Russell, Lord Macleod, R.
Sandon, Viscount Maxwell, Sir J.
Sanford, E. A. Murray, J. A.
Scarlett, Sir J. Ormelie, Earl of
Scott, Sir E. D. Ross, H.
Sheppard, T. Sharpe, General M.
Skipwith, Sir G. Sinclair, G.
Smith, R. V. Steuart, R.
Smith, hon. R. S. Stewart, Sir M. S.
Spankie, Mr. Sergeant Stewart, E.
Spencer, hon. Capt. F.
Stanley, E. IRELAND.
Stanley, rt. hn. E. G. S. Acheson, Viscount
Stanley, E. J. Belfast, Earl of
Staunton, Sir G. T. Browne, J. D.
Stewart, J. Browne, D.
Stormont, Viscount Carew, R. S.
Strickland, G. Chapman, M. L.
Taylor, rt. hon. M. A. Conolly, Col. E.
Thompson, P. B. Coote, Sir C. H.
Thomson, rt. hn, C. P. Corry, hon. H. L.
Todd, J. R. Dobbs, C. R.
Tracey, C. A. Dobbin, L.
Trevor, hon. G. R. Gladstone, T.
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Hill, Lord A.
Tyrell, C. Hill, Lord M.
Vivian, J. H. Jones, Captain T.
Vyvyan, Sir R. R. Keane, Sir R.
"Walter, J. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Waterpark, Lord O'Reilly, W.
Wason, R. Oxmantown, Lord
Waterpark, Lord Perceval, Colonel
Stewart, Sir H. Rice, right hon. T. S.
Talbot, J. Wood, C.