HC Deb 10 March 1834 vol 21 cc1363-5

On the Question that the House resolve itself into a Committee of Supply,

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, that he had a Petition to present from Captain John Ross, of the Royal Navy, praying for remuneration for the expenses incurred by him in his voyage to the North Pole. He (Mr. C. Fergusson), trusted that the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would have no difficulty in signifying the consent of the Crown to the reception of the petition.

Lord Althorp

said, he was authorised to signify his Majesty's consent to the presentation of the petition.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, he should content himself with simply presenting the petition, deferring whatever observations he had to make on the subject until he proposed the Motion, which stood in the paper to-night.

The Speaker

wished to know what course the hon. Member proposed to follow with reference to this matter?

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, that he intended to move as an Amendment on the Motion for going into a Committee of Supply, that an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, requesting that he will be graciously pleased to confer some mark of his Royal favour on Captain John Ross, for his public services; and assuring his Majesty, that this House would make good whatever expense his Majesty might think proper to be incurred on that account.

The Speaker

informed the hon. Member, that his Motion for a Committee was unnecessary, for, though the subject-matter of the petition could not, undoubtedly, form part of the Army Estimates (which were to be proposed to-night), yet, as his Majesty had given his consent to the presentation of the petition, it might be taken into consideration in the Committee of Supply. The proper course, therefore, for the hon. Member to adopt was, to allow all the petitions on this subject to be presented, and then, after the order of the day being read, and previous to the Speaker leaving the chair, to move that they be referred to the Committee of Supply.

Mr. Hutt

presented a petition from Kingston-on-Hull, numerously and respectably signed, praying that compensation might be granted to Captain Ross.

Mr. Cobbett

was opposed to the grant of any public money to Captain Ross. How could that House relieve the burthens of the country, if it were always voting away the money of the people? If hon. Members proposed to reward Captain Ross, let them do it out of their own pockets, and he should make no objection; and he must say, that he thought the merchants of Hull would have acted more properly if, instead of petitioning Parliament to remunerate Captain Ross, they had raised a subscription among themselves for that purpose.

Lord Sandon

presented a petition to the same effect signed in a very short time by many inhabitants of Liverpool. His Lordship said, that he was sure the hon. member for Oldham did not speak the sentiments of the labouring classes of this country, when he expressed himself hostile to the remuneration of an individual who, for the promotion of science, had sacrificed a great portion of his private fortune, and spent four years of his life amidst the severest privations.

Mr. Lennard

thought, that Captain Ross was entitled to remuneration, and conceived that a plan might be adopted of doing justice to that gallant individual, without exciting the opposition of the hon. member for Oldham. A fund of 75,000l. was appropriated for the payment of pensions granted by the Crown; and he knew of none so well entitled to partake of that public bounty as those who rendered some service to the country. He imagined that an Address to his Majesty, requesting him to place the name of Captain Ross on the Pension-list, would meet with the support of every member in that House.

Petition laid on the Table. Question, that the House go into Committee of Supply, again put.