§ Mr. Harvey
rose and said, that he could assure the House that if he had possessed the courage to withstand the imputation of a political instead of physical indisposition, he should not have appeared there that evening, for he was rendered very incompetent by illness to do justice to the subject which he was about to bring forward. However, it would have this good effect, that it would compel him to consume as little of the time of the House as would be necessary for the proper understanding of the question; and though it had been their fortune lately, whether good or bad he would not say, to hear that illustration of oratory which declared, that a good speech could not be comprised in less than six hours, he should endeavour to compress his remarks into a twelfth part of that time. It was a pleasing task to have to thank Government for the courtesy which had been extended to him, because, although the Motion of which he had given notice was not a palatable one, not only had no obstruction been offered by the Government, but every facility had been given for bringing it under the consideration of the House, and that, too, at a time when the state of public business afforded many methods for deferring the Motion. He thought, that it was a curious coincidence that the Poor Laws' Amendment Bill stood upon the Orders of the Day, because much of the principles and objects of his Motion was to be found in that Bill; because, if the 515 landed interest, who were now looking for relief from the burthen of supporting those who lived upon the country without contributing to its resources, and whose only defence was a low and disgusting idleness—if no man was to receive any thing without rendering an equivalent for it, the same wholesome principle should, of course, be extended to the higher classes of society. It would be fitting for the proper understanding of his Motion, that he should lay at once the terms in which it was framed before the House; and this was the more desirable, as one of the busy rumours that were always floating about had informed him, that he would have to encounter an Amendment to his Motion. But it was unfortunate that he should have to encounter a debate he had not heard, and a Resolution which he had not seen, but which was, nevertheless, to be submitted to a deliberative Assembly. If he were to put faith in the rumours which prevailed abroad, he might doubt if he were now addressing a deliberative Assembly. It had been said, that the matter was already determined by the Parliament in Downing-street. It was stated, that there it was arranged, that no matter what might be the nature of the Motion, no matter in what manner it might be urged, or by what arguments it might be supported, all was to avail nothing, because it was to be apprehended that its success would lead to a catastrophe which no one could contemplate without horror and alarm. Now, to him it appeared very extraordinary that such feelings should be excited upon the occasion of a Motion which the individual who proposed to submit it to the consideration of the House had never yet shown to any human being—a Motion, of which he knew not who would be the seconder, if, indeed, he were fortunate enough to find a seconder for it—a Motion which had been got up without concert with any individual in or out of the House. If he were actuated by motives of hostility to the Administration, it must at least be admitted, that he had chosen rather a novel mode of assailing it. In former times, when Governments were tottering to their fall, or when the hopes of their opponents were high, the approved method of proceeding was to attack them under the cover of some unmeaning Motion, by which the assailants, if victorious, would not be bound; and, moreover, it had always been the 516 practice in their tactics to put this Motion into the hands of some distinguished individual, who might naturally be supposed to have a reversionary interest in the discomfiture or defeat of his adversaries on the Benches opposite. Thus it was, that the Foxites, on many occasions, "saddled White Surrey for the field," and threw the burthen of the attack not only upon the most intelligent but the most eminent of their party. Nothing of this kind, however, was to be observed at present in the style or arrangement of his attack; and if the Government fell now, it would fall by the power of truth alone. It would fall by the force of a principle then asserted and set forth, in which the whole country concurred, and in the expression of which it sympathized, and if the Ministers now lost their seats, they would lose them because they did not deserve to retain them. For his own part, he had to say, that he neither desired nor dreaded the overthrow of any government. He hated the very name of party. He had hoped that one of the best results of the Reform Bill would have been the assemblage of a body in that House, embracing the ablest men of all sides, who would have no regard to the old ties of party, and look to nothing but the good of the people and the advantage of the State. He would, however, at once explain his Motion by reading the Address he meant to propose, and then he would state the real case on which he asked the House to vote. The hon. Gentleman read his proposed Motion to the effect—"That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he would be graciously pleased to direct an inquiry to be made into the consideration of each pension as it appears in the List ordered to be printed by his faithful Commons on 28th August, 1833, with a view to be assured that such persons only are in the receipt of the public money as have just claims on the royal munificence, either by services rendered to the Crown—the performance of duties to the public—by useful discoveries in science—by attainments in literature and the arts, which have deserved the consideration of their Sovereign, and the gratitude of their country." They were indebted to the existing Government for a very clear and precise exposition of what were the merits and services which should be possessed by such individuals us appeared upon the Pension-list. It might be 517 well, accordingly, bearing in mind the ministerial description of the due claims and qualifications of a pensioner, to look at the present Pension-list. He would state to the House the number of individuals, taking it as it appeared upon the Return, without allowing for the few deaths and resignations which might have taken place since the production of that Return. From this it appeared that there were 1,303 persons on that List in the receipt of the public money. Of these, 281 were gentlemen, and 1,022 were ladies. Of the gentlemen, eighty-four had titles; of the ladies, 124 had titles; making in all 208 titled pensioners out of the 1,303 persons on the List. At the commencement of the present reign the amount received in pensions was 159,176l. and before the present Government succeeded the Government they displaced, and before the state of the Civil-list was brought under the consideration of that House, and Ministers proposed to deal with it after a different fashion, it was suggested, that a specific sum of 144,000l. per annum should be appropriated for the payment of pensions. He stated this, to lead the House to a right understanding of the view of the matter taken by him, and this in justification of the question now brought forward. He referred to a recent period that they might be in possession of the opinions professed by his Majesty's Government, when the Gentlemen who then composed it sat upon the Opposition Benches. It would be in the recollection of the House, that the overthrow of the Wellington Government was mainly to be attributed (certainly in addition to other and more general causes of hostility), but was mainly to be attributed to their pertinacity in supporting that Pension-list. The vote, in fact, by which they were extinguished in office, was on a Motion upon the subject of this List, made by the right hon. Baronet (Sir Henry Parnell), then member for Queen's County. The Chancellor of the Exchequer of that day proposed in the discussion upon the Civil-list, that 144,000l. should be set apart as applicable to the Pension-list. It was then contended by the hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords now upon the Treasury Benches, and especially by the noble Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Pension-list should not be voted until it had been first submitted to the examination of a Committee. That Motion was 518 pressed. It was unsuccessfully opposed. It was carried by the party then in Opposition, now in power, and the Wellington Administration retired. When the present Government succeeded, it was expected that they would have forthwith adopted that course of proceeding which they had before so strenuously advocated. But the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, contended, in the first instance, for a simplification of the Civil-list. He maintained, that the ten prominent items might for the future be reduced to five. He would not enter into the details upon this matter; he would not touch anything which had not reference to the Pension-list. The plan the Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested, with respect to this List, was, that instead of the whole sum being voted in the aggregate, 75,000l. should be placed permanently on the Civil-list, and that the residue, 85,000l. should be charged upon the Consolidated Fund. That mode of dealing with it excited great opposition, because those who had swelled the number of the present Ministers' majorities—they on whose tide the Ministers rolled into power, were not disposed to forget the arguments by which the Motion for a Committee of Inquiry had been supported both by themselves and the hon. Gentleman who had then achieved official greatness. They thought then, as they did now, that a sincere, an honest, and impartial, investigation of this List was absolutely necessary. The noble Lord differed with them, thinking that his prospective reduction of the expenditure on the List from 144,000l. to 75,000l. was such substantial evidence of a disposition to economy upon the part of his Majesty and of his Ministers, that it must satisfy the most scrupulous, and entirely close the door against investigation. At this stage of the debate he considered it right to say, with the view of preventing misrepresentation or mistake, that it was not his intention to impair, by a single fraction, the sum which had been then voted to the Crown for the purpose of rewarding those merits and services which had been so admirably described in the Amendment carried by the hon. Secretary opposite only the other day, and now embodied in his Motion. The great mistake which those who opposed the Address fell into was this (he admitted that if any good grounds for that on which they founded their opposition could be 519 established, or recognized by that House, as Representatives of the people, it would be conclusive); but the mistake they fell into was this—they considered and contended, that a solemn treaty had been made between the Representatives of the people on the one hand, and his Majesty on the other, by virtue of which a certain sum of money was left altogether at his disposal, as a provision for his Civil-list—a sum which was to be beyond the scrutiny and control of that House. Allow him to say there was a great fallacy in this, unless they could show, that in reference to this Civil-list, Parliament and the present Sovereign were differently situated from all former Parliaments, and from all preceding Monarchs. It was contended by the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1828, upon the occasion of a Motion made by his hon. friend the member for Middlesex, that although the amount of the Civil-list might not be impaired, yet that the appropriation of it was under the control and scrutiny of the House. This treaty, if it existed, (if he, indeed, might be allowed to talk of such a treaty, by which the rights of the people and the duties of their Representatives were compromised, by which that most important sacred right of the House of Commons, namely, that of watching over the expenditure of the public money, was placed in abeyance)—he said, that if this treated existed, it must contain in it some special provision—some regulation by which no other Parliament under any other Sovereign was ever before bound. He knew, that it was an inconvenient course, and one open to criticism, to allude to speeches of hon. Gentlemen delivered under different circumstances from those in which they were then placed—circumstances that must in a great degree have led to the formation of the opinions which they expressed. He could fully recognise the force of this with respect to matters of detail, or affairs of secondary interest and importance; but he as decidedly could not admit it in reference to great principles—principles that formed a party—principles on which that party had gained a high reputation—principles in which the people of England sympathized, and whose triumph they hailed in the ascendancy of the noble Lords and the right hon. Gentlemen opposite—from whom they expected a practical performance in accordance with those 520 principles by the profession of which they had distinguished themselves, and from the love and confidence of the nation. When principles such as these were in question, he would not be deterred from alluding to the speeches of hon. Members, however inconvenient it might be, or however severely it might press upon individuals. When his hon. friend, the member for Middlesex, made the Motion to which he (Mr. Harvey) had before alluded, he was met by the government of that day with this opposition. It was argued, that although it could not be denied, that on the accession of a new king, it would be the duty of the House to fix the Civil-list, and to sanction the items of which it was to be composed; yet, that after it was once passed, whatever might be the objections to it, they could not with propriety be urged—a contract had been Made which could not be broken, one which should be felt as a sacred engagement, entered into between the king and the nation, through the representatives of the people. The ground of opposition, then, was, in a word, that to call for an investigation of the civil list, was an invasion of the prerogative of the Crown. Whatever objections there might be to it, the deed had been done, a treaty had been made, and it was to be respected as one only to be touched, under the sanction of the deepest reproach to him who might propose to meddle with it. How was this met? It was said, that n one then, as no body did now, proposed to diminish the amount of the grant; all that was contended for was, that no money which the people supplied could be paid away, excepting under the sanction, and subject to the rigid scrutiny, of those to whom the public purse and its care had been committed. This, in his mind, was a proposition which no honest man could doubt—one in which every Member of a reformed Parliament should be most anxious to concur. The noble lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) at that time stated, "The right hon. gentleman said, it was not desirable to bring the Crown into unnecessary contact with the House of Commons upon the subject of the Civil-list. His hon. friend desired no such thing; he merely felt it his duty to ascertain whether certain sums had not been improvidently disposed of. The right hon. Gentleman's arguments would go to the resistance of the production of the whole 521 Pension-list, but he admitted, that the Irish and Scotch lists could not be withheld. If, however, there was nothing discreditable in the expenditure, why should it be resisted? The responsibility of misapplying this fund must rest somewhere; but if the right hon. Gentleman's arguments held good, how was that responsibility to be ascertained? The right hon. Gentleman maintained, that the list could not be produced, unless some case of gross abuse was pointed out. If, however, the list was not to be subjected to examination, how could Members ascertain the abuse which was to warrant the call for a production of the list? Although these pensions were placed at the disposal of the Crown, they must be given under the responsibility, and by the advice of, Ministers; and therefore the House had a right to demand such information as would enable them to ascertain whether the advice given was strictly followed."* These constitutional arguments, so worthy of the noble Lord, were rejected, as a matter of course, at that time. No one then doubted—all men observed the eminent position which the noble Lord then held—and anticipated for him the distinguished place upon the treasury benches to which he had since been elevated. No one, he repeated, doubted, that whenever those great principles which the noble Lord had so ably and so eloquently advocated, were brought under the consideration of the House—no one doubted, that, whether the noble Lord were in office or out of office, these principles would have his full recognition, and his most strenuous support. Again, in 1830, when the Civil-list was under the consideration of the House, and when the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dundee's motion was under debate, the same grounds were taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. These same grounds were then successful, and they led to the overthrow of the Wellington Administration. But how had the Government carried out those important principles? They left the appropriation of 75,000l. to be set apart and dealt with in the same manner as the 144,000l. in the former reign. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed, that 510,000l. should be applied to the Civil-list under five heads, one of which was the Pension-list. That Civil list was re-* Hansard (new series) xix. p. 835.522 ferred to a committee. This, however, was more a matter of form than—he would not say—of honest or useful inquiry—for the statement of the noble Lord was, that to have the whole list open to scrutiny would be impolitic, and inconvenient, and unjust. Therefore, while he proposed other matters, he protested against a full and entire inquiry; and, in fact, the Committee was so fettered in its functions by not being allowed to send for persons or papers, that it was little better than a cheat. Thus it would appear, that those who, while in opposition, professed the utmost desire to bring the appropriation of the Civil-list under the consideration of the House, yet, when they found that their arguments had led to the adoption of that amendment of theirs, by which they were virtually bound to a committee of inquiry not less searching than they recommended while in opposition, they discovered, when in power, that this course would be so inconvenient, that although they could not, in decency, altogether swamp the committee, yet did they determine to make it altogether ineffectual by depriving it of every useful proper power. He held in his hand a report of the committee which sat upon the Civil-list, which contained a passage referring to that branch now under the consideration of the House. It stated, that the amount of pensions then existing for England, Scotland, and Ireland, was 170,000l., which it was proposed to reduce to 144,000l., as it was, indeed, in like manner, proposed by their predecessors in office, by the reduction of a per centage upon it. But, for the present, the Pension-list was approved of free of all reduction. The committee made this statement, 'That, adverting to all the circumstances of the case, we consider that no material relief to the finances of the country could be derived from the most rigid measures of retrenchment applied to the Pension-list; that in many cases severe distress, in some actual injustice, would arise to individuals from the general discontinuance of pensions; that such discontinuance, on the occasion of his Majesty's accession, would be a departure from a usage invariably observed on the accession of his Majesty's predecessor, and your committee do not think it advisable to withdraw from the Crown those funds which may enable the Crown, if it shall so think fit, to continue the pensions on the Civil-list of 523 his late Majesty.' That was their report, as far as regarded the 75,000l.; the residue was to be made matter of subsequent arrangement. It had been said, that the pension-list, not only in its amount, but also in its componency, was recognised by the committee. He denied that it was; he maintained, that here was a radical mistake. They gave to the Crown 75,000l. to dispose of in pensions—to his present Majesty, he should say—but they had not imposed upon him the dictation of the mode in which it should be expended, or declared the particular persons who should be the objects of the royal bounty. The appropriation was in the breast of the Crown, under the regulating control of Parliament. It was idle to contend, as some did, that whatever might be the blemishes on the list, it was binding on the Crown and the two Houses of Parliament, and that all investigation was precluded. There was a constitutional right in the King to appoint the manner of using it, but to see how that was done was the peculiar province and prominent duty of that House. The same remarks applied to the remaining portion. Thus it appeared, that, although the Chancellor of the Exchequer had declined to diminish the amount of the list at the moment, yet had he done so prospectively. He did not deny, that a great amelioration in the arrangements, prospectively, had taken place under the auspices of the noble Lord. If he did, he should in truth be guilty of those factious feelings which had been attributed to him. There had been amelioration, because, while the old Government were determined to maintain the Pension-list at the amount of 144,000l., this Administration had decided upon eventually diminishing it by 69,000l., by causing pensions, as they gradually fell in, to sink into the consolidated fund. But, while he contended, that the appropriation of the Pension-list was under the control of Parliament, he admitted, that the amount could not be touched, during the existing reign. When the time came for the revision of the list, it was the duty of Parliament to make ample provision for the dignity and splendor of the Crown. It was their duty, also, to see that there was no profusion; while they were, on the one hand, liberal, on the other hand, they should not he profligate in their expenditure. While they provided amply for the comfort and conveni- 524 ence of the monarch, and granted him, as far as might be within the bounds of moderation; and the dictates of his generous heart, the means of rewarding his subjects, yet should they be cautious, that the establishment should not be constructed on such a scale of extravagance as might entitle the country to complain. And, indeed, all this was prominently put forward when the Pension-list was argued, by more than one of the hon. Gentlemen on the opposite benches. It was contended, too, at that period, that the Pension-list ought not to be settled till the Members of that House had made an appeal to the people. It had been before strongly urged, when the right hon. Gentleman, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed 144,000l. for the amount of the list. It was maintained, that it was the bounden duty of every man to learn the sentiments of his constituents on a point on which they felt so intensely interested. He did not wish to trouble the House with quotations from the reports of speeches delivered at that time; he would only say, that more than one of the present Ministers then protested, from the opposition benches, against the settlement of the list, until an appeal had been made by all men in that House to their constituents. The noble Lord, however, after the question of the Civil-list had been disposed of, moved a vote of supply, amounting to two hundred and odd thousands of pounds, for current expenses, in which there was an item for the payment of the pensioners from the period of the death of his Majesty to the present time. Then did the hon. member for Middlesex protest against even this partial recognition of the componency of the list, and of its amount. Objections, too, were taken to the course proposed, by many other hon. Members, and the only way in which the noble Lord could parry these objections, was by assuring the House, that, in sanctioning this temporary arrangement, they would not be in the least committed with respect to the great point of the investigation of the Pension-list. Now, he would be content to reduce his motion to this question—had that list, in any one particular, ever been investigated? There were several hon. Gentlemen present, who had sat upon the Committee, and he would ask them, if the Pension-list, either in its details, or its aggregate, formed any part of their inquiry? It was impossible! He 525 maintained it was impossible, for although the body that investigated that list, might have been a partial one—though the recipients of the public or royal bounty might have had many friends upon it—yet it could not be supposed that there had been the slightest attempt at investigation, or else it must most assuredly have led to some reduction in the list, however small that reduction might be. Therefore, because the list remained unimpaired in all its hideousness, because there had not been one farthing of money saved to the people, he had a right to conclude, that the list had not been investigated. He would then call upon the House, if the list, though it had been prospectively diminished, yet had not undergone revision.—he would call upon them, and ask them if they were prepared—they, Members of the first House of Commons which had been returned by the agency of the people—were they prepared to oppose the investigation of this odious list, and to do this under the imputation of being alarmed by a treaty, or menaced by a threat?—They were told, that inquiry, however proposed, in whatsoever form (he was not curious about the form), would be opposed by this Government, which might be considered as a distillation of the purity of Whiggery. They were, it was said, determined to stake their importance—they were content to have their greatness read in future histories as connected with their magnanimous defence of that Pension-list which ought to have excited the abhorrence of every honest man that ever looked at it. They, members of a Reformed Administration—the authors of the measure of Reform, were disposed to signalize themselves as the champions of a list which all men should condemn. They were ready to risk all the reputation they had won. They were disposed to sacrifice all those prospects of benefit to the country which, from their position, they might have hoped to be enabled to bestow. All this they were ready, disposed, content, willing, determined to do, that they might enjoy the unutterable honour of coming forward in that House as the defenders and apologists of a list in which it would be difficult to put the finger upon any one name which would not invite suspicion. On a former occasion he recollected a motion such as this had been resisted by the right hon. Secretary of the Treasury, upon the grounds that 526 the task it proposed for hon. Members would be a disgusting occupation—that it was a service such as no man would, if possible, encounter, and from which every delicate sentiment must shrink. Certainly this, it must be allowed, was no very high compliment to the persons upon this list, many of whom were nevertheless members of the fairest and proudest families in the country. No high compliment, undoubtedly, when he insisted that an investigation of the claims in virtue of which they enjoyed their pensions would excite in the breasts of those to whom the duty was intrusted, such shuddering sentiments of abhorrence, as could not be controlled, or disguised, or endured. Well, this difficulty might have existed on a former occasion, but it was now obviated by the terms of the present Motion. He thought, that the House ought to present an Address to his Majesty, as the fountain of all favour, inviting him to investigate the Pension-list. That was the object of his Motion, and he thought, that no course would be more acceptable to the party addressed, or to those whose duty it was, to give responsible advice to the Crown; indeed, he was inclined to believe, that the threatened opposition was merely an affected sentiment of delicacy on the part of Ministers, and that in reality they would be well pleased that the Pension-list should be investigated, in order that all their past pledges and promises might be realized. If, upon examination, it should be found that any of the pensions charged upon the consolidated fund were improperly granted, and ought to be withdrawn, the money thus released would not be at the disposal of either the King or his Ministers, but would form a fund for the benefit of the people. How stood the matter? 75,000l. were given in the Civil-list to be appropriated as the King thought fit, subject to the control of the House; and the remainder was placed on the Consolidated Fund, with the understanding, that as the parties receiving the pensions should drop off, the amount of their respective pensions should be brought into the general public treasury. It appeared to him absurd to contend that the King was bound to retain upon the list all persons who stood upon it at the time the last arrangement was made with respect to pensions. He was the more disposed to come to this conclusion, because it was 527 impossible for any one to run his eye through the list, without being struck with the defective titles of some of those who figured there. He was aware that it might be considered an injudicious course to refer to particular names—he did not mean injudicious as regarded the effect which it would produce elsewhere, but injudicious inasmuch as it was calculated to produce a division of discussion, because he knew that it was scarcely possible to name any one individual out of all those who pocketed the 130,000l. a-year in whose favour one hon. Member at least would not start up and say "that though he was not the general advocate of the Civil-list, and though he objected to the principle upon which it was defended, yet as far as regarded the individual whose name had been uncourteously introduced, if there was one man who of all others ought to be upon the list, the individual mentioned was that one." Then the House would be entertained with sketches of family history, such as had been furnished upon a former occasion respecting the two Misses Gossett. He was perfectly aware that, by referring to particular names upon the Pension-list, he should afford an opportunity for the introduction of such drivelling details as he had alluded to; but he would run the risk of that. It was necessary, in order to show the extreme anxiety which prevailed in the public mind upon this subject, not so much on account of the amount paid for pensions, but because of the principle involved in the question. Gentlemen in that House, who formed a community—a sort of little world of their own,—and who knew scarcely anything beyond what passed in that House and in Downing-street, might be indifferent to what the country thought, whilst they continued to serve the Government. He could, however, venture to inform Ministers, that a deep and intense feeling pervaded the community, both intellectually and numerically, with respect to this question. The Government had lately propounded a measure for the alteration of the Poor-laws, one of the provisions of which was, that, after a given day, no person should be a recipient of parochial relief, even although as to the length of time in which he had been in the habit of receiving it, he might almost run a race with some of the most venerable names upon the Pension-list. 528 No sympathy was shown for the vested rights of the poor; no, that was reserved exclusively for honourable duchesses, and for the flitting shadows of fashion. It was a disgrace to any man in the country who had wealth at command to allow the name of a relative to stand upon the Pension-list. We had laws by which a son or a grandson could be compelled, if he should forget the everlasting obligation of nature, to support those who reared and protected them in helpless childhood. Why should not the same principle be applied to the persons on the Pension-list and their relatives? There might be upon that list individuals who, when first placed there, were objects of compassion, but who had grown into opulence by the accident of connexion on the better fortune of their associates, and, in such cases as these, the advantage of his address was apparent, because it would afford an opportunity for those quiet, delicate communications, which would carry a charm with them, inasmuch as they would proceed from royalty. A hint from such a quarter would produce a greater effect than the strongest resolution of a committee. He had no doubt, that when the tree on which so much rotten fruit hung should be shaken by a royal hand, very little would be left worth any one's gathering. He proposed, however, to show the anxiety which prevailed on this subject throughout the country, to read a few of the names which had been pointed out to him from various quarters, with the accompanying remarks thereupon. He could assure the House, that this subject had been no sinecure to him, either with reference to the number of dull speeches which he had been compelled to wade through, or the communications which had poured in upon him from all quarters, and which he had been compelled to answer. The hon. Member then read the following statement and list:—
"The following list will enumerate some of the favoured enjoying pensions, who are pluralists, by holding situations under Government. It will designate many who have never performed any public services, and consequently obtained their emoluments from Court or Ministerial patronage. It will also point out those whose pensions should have ceased when otherwise provided for by marriage or inheritance. The noblesse, whose po- 529 verty has arisen from their forefathers' extravagance, may claim assistance from their own order, but can have no right to be quartered on the revenues of the country.
The first person pointed out on this list was—
"Lord Aylmer, whose pension is 356l. per annum. He is Captain-general of Canada (some thousands a-year), and colonel of the 18th foot." Now, he asked whether that was true? He wished for an answer "ay" or "no." A word from his Majesty would stop this pension.
"Lord Aston has good Church preferment, besides a good private fortune." Was that true? His Lordship's pension was very small; but then it was the more contemptible in him to receive it. Nothing, however, was too small for the pensioners to grasp at. Some persons in the list received, in driblets, five or six pensions of 50l. Such persons were always at the elbow of the Minister or the Monarch, and their importunities were not unfrequently bought off by a pension. Lord Aston condescended to receive 97l. out of the labour of the working classes.
"Lord Auckland is Master of the Mint, President of the Board of Trade, and Commissioner of Greenwich Hospital; his pension is 300l. per annum, which he foregoes whilst holding his present offices." Lord Auckland did not receive his pension whilst he was in office, and he wished that principle to be applied to all pension-receivers. If they derived a good income from other sources, they ought not to receive their pensions. He would not then stop to ask what was done with the amount of Lord Auckland's pension, whilst it was in abeyance, but he did not recollect that any reduction was made from the last grant on that account.
"Sir John de Blaquire enjoys a pension of 1,072l., and again, as Baron, of 893l. 13s." This was a monstrous case. Sir John received his first pension in 1794, and having served an apprenticeship of eight years, was raised to the peerage, and received 893l. 13s. a-year more.
"Lord Bloomfield is colonel of a battalion of artillery, and has 936l. 16s. per annum." No doubt, a whole host of Members would rise in their places to eulogize this noble Lord, and to express their regret that he had not received some more solemn and substantial mark of his country's approbation.
530 "Charles Oldfield Bowles, and Elizabeth, his wife, have a pension of 192l. He was a private secretary to Mr. Goulburn for a short time. He is colonel of the Oxford Militia, from possessing a large property in the county." He supposed the right hon. member for the University of Cambridge would by-and-by favour the House with a biographical sketch of this happy couple. It would be observed that he mentioned the names of no persons who were not likely to have some friend in the House to speak on their behalf.
"Sir Henry Browne has 200l. per annum, and 200l. more as Thomas Henry Browne. He is on half-pay of the 23rd Foot. His rewarded services consisted in having been the aide-de-camp to the present Lord Londonderry, when Ambassador at Vienna, and was sent to Milan, on the delicate mission of gaining information relative to the conduct of Queen Caroline." He never before knew the value of a title; but it was clear, that the being made a "Sir" was worth 200l. a-year to Mr. Browne. He was desired to refer any person who wished to know how well this gentleman had earned his pension, to the trial of the late Queen.
"The Earl of Cavan has a regiment, and is a governor besides. He has 266l. a-year.
"The Baroness Cathcart, wife of Lord Cathcart, (he is colonel of the 2nd regiment of Life Guards, 1,800l. per annum; and a retiring pension, from having been Ambassador and Governor of Hull) enjoys a pension.
"Dowager Lady Clare has 780l., the widow of the rich ex-Chancellor.
"The Marchioness of Carmarthen, 700l. Her husband is heir to the Dukedom of Leeds.
"Marianna Cockburn, sister to Viscount Hereford, 115l. 19s. 6d.; is the wife of Sir James Cockburn, who has 1,000l. per annum as Inspector of Marines. She and her four sisters had pensions granted of 115l. 19s. 6d. when young; but it never was contemplated, that on their marriage these pensions should continue. This was a case which came within the principle he had laid down, that pensions should be superseded on the success of the receivers of them in other departments.
"Juliana Maria Eyre is another sister, a widow, with a jointure of 600l. a-year.
531 "Georgiana Maria Gwynne, another sister.
"Charlotte Wellington, another sister; and
"Catherine Eliza Wilkins, the fifth married sister, lately married (from her widowhood) to R. Stretton, Esq., High Sheriff this year for Breconshire; her former husband left her 2,000l. a-year jointure.
"Lord Elphinstone has 138l.; also 276l. 10s., and again 138l.
"Eliza Mackenzie, and Ruth Elphinstone, 276l. 10s.
"The Eden family have 407l. per annum.
"Mary Gwynne, if the widow of General Gwynne, has, as such, a pension; she besides receives 400l. a-year.
"Earl Home is too wealthy a nobleman to receive 276l. per annum. 'This is too bad.'
"Viscount Hereford receives 115l. 19s. 6d., which was granted to him at the same time as similar annuities were to his five sisters. What makes his case most glaring is, that he inherits also his father's pension of 467l. He has two seats in Wales, Fregoyd and Nancribba, and lately bought of the Crown a manor adjoining the town of Hay, thereby extending his own grouse manors.
"Thomas Knox Holmes, 500l." This was the only case in which the paper he was reading from stated the consideration for which the pension was granted. It was stated to be given to Mr. Holmes, as the son of the whipper-in of the late Administration; and he (Mr. Harvey) could honestly say, that a more faithful whipper-in Government never had.
"Sir Herbert Taylor is the Colonel of the 85th regiment, notwithstanding he has 930l. pension.
"Sir William Johnstone 714l. per annum: a rich Baronet.
"Lieutenant-General Knollis, 400l. per annum; he receives besides a Lieutenant-general's pay, and is also Governor of Limerick." [A Member on the Treasury Bench said, "He is dead."] "That," rejoined Mr. Harvey, "is the best answer to my observation."
"The Rev. William Kuper, 400l. 15s.; a chaplain to the German chapel.
"Dame Fanny Lushington, 350l. per annum, and the Hon. Ann Lushington, 624l. per annum, and her four children. A Governorship in India ought to satisfy 532 the Lushington family, who have enjoyed good situations for so Many years.
"George Leigh, and Mary his wife, 700l.; he was a personal friend of the late King, and commanded the 10th Light Dragoons. This is a pension extraordinaire.
"The Earl of Minto, an ambassador 924l.
"Lady Louisa Murray." Of this lady he would say nothing, because her husband had just been successful in another place.
"Lord Montford, 467l.; ditto, 155l.
"Lord Strangford condescends to take a pension of 85l. He has the retiring pension of an ambassador, 2,000l. per annum; Maria Dowager Strangford has a pension of 233l.; ditto, 266l.
"Lady Ann Culling Smith, 600l. Sister to the Duke of Wellington; her husband a rich man.
"Sir Simeon Stuart, 200l. A rich Baronet, who never performed any public service.
"Lieutenant-colonel Meyrick Shaw, 500l.; ditto 499l. He was private Secretary to the Marquess Wellesley in India, and also in Ireland. One pension would be adequate. He is now employed again.
"The Earl of Tyrconnel, 690l.; ditto, 445l. He married Miss Crowe, of Kiplin-park, Yorkshire, a very rich heiress.
"Thomas Lord Walsingham, a dignitary of Winchester Cathedral; he has 636l. per annum.
"Lady Matilda Wynyard, 467l.; the wife of General Wynyard.
"Sir F. Watson, 936l.
"Emily Marchioness of Westmeath, sister of the Marquess of Salisbury and wife of the Marquess of Westmeath, cannot expect to be supported by the public. She has 386l. per annum.
"The Rev. Alexander Sterkey, the Swiss Minister, 400l. 15s."
He had very little doubt, that the paper he had read would call forth eulogiums upon the individuals referred to in it so long, that if the House were disposed to listen to them, the present discussion would rival in length the six nights' debate which had lately occurred. The reading of that paper would do good. It would be recollected, that this was the list upon the protection of which, in all its integrity, it Was said, that the Ministry was prepared to pledge its existence. He 533 must be excused for saying, that judging from the past conduct of Ministers, he did not believe they meant what they said. Their cry of resigning had been repeated so often, that it had lost much of its power. This was about the fourth time they had held out this kind of threat. When this subject was before the House on a former occasion, the noble Chancellor of the Exchequer intimated, that if the House were determined to give a practical character to their economy, instead of contenting themselves with the professions of Ministers—if they would attempt to run before them instead of following after them, they would throw the country into a dilemma by resigning, inasmuch as they combined in themselves all the elements of which an Administration could be formed. History could not furnish a suggestion half so ridiculous as this. If the present Government, and all in that House who ever belonged to the Government, as well as all who might think themselves fit to form one (and after the specimen of Government they had, he knew not who might not think so), be swept away, the intellectual resources of the country would immediately furnish men capable of being its rulers. He hoped, that this Parliament was not to be the image of future Parliaments. They had been brought together, as was said the other day, in allusion to the hon. member for Carlisle, the awkward squad of Reform. They were mere memorials of local gratitude, and sent to that House, because they had been the agitators of provinces rather than on account of their peculiar fitness. What did they, especially the new Members, know of the science of Government? He believed, that future Parliaments would contain men of enlarged and philosophical views, who would proclaim that there should be nothing unintelligible connected with Government, who would try everything by the test of utility, and cast aside, like any other rubbish, whatever could not stand that test, whether it related to Court or Parliament. No doubt, Ministers would, on the present occasion, as they had before, act upon the hint contained in the anecdote of Charles 2nd, and rely upon the bad character of the persons who would probably succeed them in office, rather than upon the excellence of their own reputation. It was related, that Charles, one day, walking unattended up Constitution-hill, met 534 his brother, James of York, well guarded by soldiers. James expressed his surprise that he should go out in public unattended. "Oh," replied Charles, "there is no danger of my life, as long as the people know who will be my successor." The late Government acted upon the Scriptural injunction of turning the second cheek to the enemy, after he had smitten one. The present Ministers continued to abuse them, and they continued to support Ministers. They would not desert prerogative. They had uniformly maintained, and for that he gave them credit, that the King had the sole control over the Pension-list. They admitted, to be sure, that at the death of the reigning monarch, which, in a parenthesis, they expressed a hope might be far distant, a new arrangement on that subject might be entered into. This, however, was a system of which the noble Lord complained, when he was in opposition. He had occupied the attention of the House for a long time, whether he had made himself intelligible was another question. He could not understand, and till he saw it, he should not believe, how any Member who had voted for his former Motion could oppose that with which he was now about to conclude. He could well understand how many Members who had opposed the former Motion should support the present. It was objected to the former Motion, that it would be disgusting to tell such and such parties that they should go before a Jacobinical committee to be examined—that it was against all notions of delicacy, that dowagers of 100, and less antiquated ladies of all ranks and fashion, should go to Committee No. 13, in order to submit to be examined touching the particular services they had rendered to the country for the charge which had been made on its funds in their particular cases. This was all considered so disgusting, that only 182 Members were found to vote for it. He was told on that occasion, that he should not have taken it out of the hands of his Majesty—that a word from him to most of the receivers of large Pensions would be considered a command—and that an intimation, that the pension ought not to be claimed would be sufficient—that it was a fund placed at the disposal of his Majesty, for rewarding merit, and that its application and revision should be left to him. There were objections from several quarters to his last Motion, and, of course, 535 he should expect, that those who made them were prepared to support that which he now proposed. He would say, that as long as one undeserving object was allowed to remain on the list, some person who was really meritorious—some individual who might have enriched the annals of his country by his great achievements—some who might have added to the lustre of its arms—who might have maintained the honour of its flag in other countries—or who, devoting themselves to science, had added to that stock of practical knowledge from which the country had derived so much of its greatness—men who, "unknown to fortune were only known to fame;" that there were many such would be admitted by all, but they were not men who were the visitors or hangers-on of courts: they lived in modest, many of them in obscure, retirement; to such men let the useless and undeserving recipients of pensions give place. Let such men be selected and drawn from their obscure penury, and if they could not obtain the luxuries, let them at least have the comforts of life. He knew of many such. No doubt most who heard him knew of many of that description who were now pining in want, but whose works would give immortality to their time and to their talent. Let such be selected, and let them receive those substantial rewards which belonged to those who had deserved well of their country. He was given to understand that, at a divan held in Downing-street, a lecture had been given to the representatives as to what might be the result of their acceding to such a Motion as the present. It was once said by Mr. Wyndham, what had the people to do with the laws but to obey them, and he supposed the representatives of the people were now to be told, what had they to do with constituents, but to despise them. The representatives of the people would, however, he hoped, do their duty. He would appeal to every man who had constituents, and every Member now had them, whether every one of them had not in his election addresses, written or oral, laid great stress on the Pension-list—whether every one of them had not floated on the praises derived from their remarks on that one great subject, and whether they did not stand virtually pledged to oppose all useless places and undeserved pensions? What had been the language of Mr. Burke when he made an attempt to re- 536 duce the Pension-list of his day within some decent bounds? He observed—"It is the prerogative of the Crown to bestow pensions as rewards for eminent services." He might have gone further, and said, that it was the duty of the representatives of the people to see that pensions were not given as rewards for personal and political prostitution. He should be much mortified if his Motion were defeated. Nor would his mortification arise from the mere fact of his being its advocate, but from his sense that he, in common with other hon. Gentlemen, had a solemn pledge to redeem. He had no factious feeling to indulge. No man in this House, looking to his means, had sacrificed more than he had in past times; and he said now, that whatever personal feeling he had to some members of the Government, no man was more determined or disposed to give them his strenuous support in every measure that, in his conscience, he believed calculated to advance the happiness of his country. He had uttered those sentiments when the present Ministers were in Opposition; they were not, therefore, taken up for this occasion. Other men might forfeit their pledges; he would adhere to his own; and he was mistaken if they would not prevail. If any other mode could be suggested—if any new reading could be given to his Motion, that would render it more acceptable; he was not so wedded to it that he would consent to no substitution. All he sought, all he asked, in the name of the people of this country, was, that the House would sympathise with their wants—that it would not trifle with their means. The hon. Member concluded by moving the Address which he had before read.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that he had felt it his duty to oppose the former motion made by the hon. Member on this question, but he had still stronger objections to that which he now proposed. It appeared to him, that the proposition of the hon. and learned Member was one which it was utterly impossible that any Gentleman could accede to. The proposition was, to call on this House to address his Majesty to take away those pensions which his Majesty had confirmed. They were asked to call on the King to do that which no man of gentleman like feeling could consent to do, viz., to deprive persons of the pensions which he himself had be- 537 stowed. The hon. and learned Gentleman had alluded to a speech which he delivered on a former occasion, in relation to this subject. He said then, what he was ready to maintain now, which was, that he did think, that the Minister who recommended a pension was responsible for such recommendation, and he thought it was perfectly justifiable to call for the list, in case any improper grant had been made. The hon. and learned Gentleman went on to say, that when he proposed the Civil-list, he at that time stated, that the Pension-list should be open to inquiry; certainly he did so; but that was only till the list was finally settled. He, at the period referred to, had to ask of the House a vote on credit; it was then necessary for the House to make advances from quarter to quarter. Ultimately, however, they had gone into the question; and the House decided that the pensions should be charged on the Consolidated Fund. When they did so, it never entered into his head, that this Pension-list would be opened again. He did feel, that persons on the Pension-list had a right established by custom to be continued on it; and the present Government taking this view, had, when they came into office, recommended that they should be. If the House agreed to the Motion—if they agreed to address his Majesty to take the pensions away—they would agree to what was unjust. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to expect hon. Gentlemen to get up to defend each individual grant; but he (Lord Althorp) did not intend to do any such thing. He did not hold himself responsible for the Acts of former Governments. The Ministers of the Crown were, he admitted, responsible for the pensions having been retained, but they had acted in concurrence with what had been the practice at the commencement of every reign since the Revolution. King William continued the pensions granted by James 2nd. The present Motion, then, of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he considered more objectionable than his proposition for an inquiry before a Committee of the House. The hon. and learned Gentleman had alluded to an expression made use of by the right hon. Secretary of the Treasury, who had spoken of the desired inquiry as a "disgusting examination." His right hon. friend did not allude to the cases to be investigated, but to the feeling which he 538 supposed every one would entertain, who of necessity might be engaged in the examination. He thought it could not fail to be a "disgusting inquiry" to any gentleman who took a part in it. The hon. and learned Gentleman had argued this as a popular topic. He admitted that it was so. He was quite aware, that persons held pensions who had other public employment and other property; and though he could not enter into the feelings of others, he was ready to admit, that when persons had large property, they ought not to receive the pensions. At least he would not, under such circumstances, take the pension. He admitted, that this was a topic which influenced, considerably, popular feeling; but this was quite beside the question as to the propriety of their taking away that from men, to which in their judgment they had a right, the law having established that right. This did not appear to him to be a question requiring any length of argument. It was simply this—would they deprive those who had a legal right to the pensions of that right by a vote of this House? And if they would do that, would they employ, as a medium of doing it, the King who had conferred the grants? The question lay in a narrow compass, and it was quite impossible for him to sanction such a proposition.
§ Mr. Strutt
said, that he was aware of the difficulty of the task he had imposed on himself, but he would endeavour, in discharging it, to trespass as short a time as he could on the House. He assured the hon. and learned Gentleman who had brought forward this Motion, that it was not from any want of courtesy to him, that he had not acquainted him with the nature of his intended Amendment. In the first place, he was not sufficiently acquainted with Parliamentary practice to be aware that it was necessary to do so, and he thought it the less necessary as the hon. Member had not placed the words of his own Motion on the Order-book. The hon. Member had alluded to a little Parliament called together in Downing-street, on this subject. All he would say was, that if such a meeting had taken place, he was not a member of it, and he disclaimed being considered as its organ on this occasion. He also begged to disavow any connexion with Ministers in the course he was now pursuing. He had had no communication of any kind with them on this 539 subject. On one point his conviction was quite clear, that it was necessary for the character of the Parliament, and the wishes of the country, that a full inquiry should be made into the Pension-list. When he heard from the Minister of the Crown, that there were names on that list which ought not to be there, and when he felt that we had no means of preventing a similar future misapplication of the public money, but by a full inquiry into what had been already done in that respect, he felt it necessary to press for such inquiry, but his inquiry was different in its mode and its object. The hon. Member proposed that the duty should devolve on the Crown, thus making the Sovereign the medium of the intended reduction. Now this he conceived to be a course disrespectful to the Crown, as imposing a most invidious task upon it; but why should that be done, when they had within themselves the means of inquiry? Another objection he had to the course proposed by the hon. Member was, that the inquiry should be conducted by those who were likely to give satisfaction to the country. Now, the burthen of the hon. Member's speech was, that the present Ministers had opposed every obstacle in their power to a reduction of the Pension-list, or to inquiry with a view to reduction; yet, by the terms of his Motion, he placed the inquiry in the hands of those very Ministers, for, in committing to the Crown, it of course must be understood as being done by its responsible advisers. What could he expect from those whom he had thus denounced as the great opponents of inquiry? The hon. Member was in general a very good Parliamentary tactician, but on this occasion he had devised a plan which would be disrespectful to the Crown, and unsatisfactory to the people. But another and his chief objection to the hon. Member's Motion was, that in its very terms it implied a determination on the part of the House to take some of those pensions away. To that he could not consent. The hon. Member had said, that no man who had voted for his Motion in February last could oppose the present. He (Mr. Strutt) was one who had so voted, and nothing on earth could induce him to support the present. He had had some difficulty in voting for the last, knowing the grounds on which it was made, and knowing that it was intended to take some of the pensions away; but 540 he still voted for the inquiry, in the conviction that it would do good, and that if the Committee should feel disposed to recommend the taking away any pension, the matter must first come under the consideration of the House. The object, he repeated, of the hon. Member was, that, in the revision, those names should be struck out of the list which might be considered as having been improperly placed on it. To that he could not consent. Supposing it should be admitted, that many pensions had been granted to unworthy objects, would the House consent to address the Crown to take them away? He knew it would be said, that the contract, if any, existed between that House and the Crown, that the House had granted a pension fund to the amount of 75,000l., and that as far as the House was concerned, it would be no breach of contract to address the Crown to remove certain names from the list. But he would ask, what would that lead to? Would it lead to any economy, for it would only lead to the substitution of objects who might be considered more worthy? The question was, would the taking away of any pension be unjust? He would admit, that, strictly and legally speaking, the Crown had a right to remove any name from the Pension-list, and that the parties held their pensions only during the pleasure of the Crown. But he would ask, what had been the general—,he would say the invariable—usage? Was it not, that such pensions, once granted, were held for life? That had been the practice for centuries. In all Ministerial changes, even in the succession of parties the most opposite in politics, there was not a single instance of any pension being taken off by one Administration which had been granted by its predecessor. Not only in changes by succession to the Throne, but, as the noble Lord had stated, in changes of Dynasty, as in the instance of James and his successor, the pensions of the previous reign had been continued. Now, he would ask, whether, under these circumstances, it would be dealing justly or fairly with those who had received pensions under the impression derived from this custom, that they were to be continued during their lives, to turn round on them and to say, that in consequence of some technical flaw, those pensions were to be taken away? He did not stand up there to defend the abuses of the Pension-list. 541 He was as much opposed to such abuses as any Member who had ever entered the doors of that House. He wished that no such pensions had ever been given. He should never wish to see a pension granted but for important public services; but when such pension had once been granted, he was not ashamed to stand up in his place, and to contend, that it would be unjust to take it away. He would take the case of a public office in one of our Law Courts, which the House might feel it right to abolish. In that case, would it be fair to say to the party, that though he had been led to consider his situation as an appointment for life, he should now be deprived of it, as it was one from which he was removable at pleasure? The House was aware, that a very different principle was always acted upon in such cases, and that where an office was discontinued, the party holding it got compensation. He had a strong opinion on this subject, which he had the less hesitation in avowing, as he was prepared to go further than the hon. Member, or than many hon. Members, in carrying out the principle of reform in many things; and he was glad to have the opportunity of saying, that nothing could be more injurious to the real principle of reform than that the House should tamper with vested rights. He might be said to be too scrupulous on this subject; but he thought the scruples should be on the right side. He saw no advantage to the public from the contemplated reduction on one side, but on the other there was much danger to be apprehended from the dangerous precedent of interfering with established rights. He therefore would not consent to take away what, though nominally held during pleasure, was really given and accepted, with the understanding of the grantor and the grantee, that it should be held for life. On these grounds, and referring to the hon. Member's ulterior objects, he could not support the Motion; yet he did think that an inquiry, by a Select Committee of the House, into the Pension-list would be of the utmost importance. It would tend to put an end to the great excitement which now existed on this subject, and correct the very exaggerated statements which had been made respecting it. The House and the country should have the opportunity of knowing the real truth; and it was only by such an investigation that future misapplication 542 could be prevented. The resolutions which had been moved by the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) as an Amendment to the former Motion of the hon. Gentleman did not go far enough. It was well said, that example was better than precept; and the publication of one flagrant abuse would be more effectual, and do more good in preventing future abuses, than all the discussions which might be had in that House. The House ought to be informed of the way in which these pensions had originated, and what had been the services performed for them. He was sure, that no Gentleman in that House would maintain that, whenever an opportunity offered, the Civil-list ought not to undergo the most complete and perfect revision. There was no Gentleman who would not be ready to acknowledge, that it ought to undergo the fullest and most searching inquiry. It would also be readily acknowledged, that the present was a more favourable time for that purpose than at the commencement of a reign; for it was well known that the proceedings on the accession of a new monarch afforded many grounds for objecting to delay; and that was the time of all others at which Parliament was the least disposed to go heartily into such an investigation. He, therefore, thought that the only course by which they could hope to give satisfaction to the public would be by entering into the inquiry then, of determining, amongst other purposes, whether the Pension-list should be granted in the manner hitherto practised. There were many who thought that the pension should be granted only for specified purposes; others, that, if granted to the King, it should be with such safeguards and precautions as might be expected to remove further ground of complaint. Those considerations appeared to him to render inquiry, by a Committee of the House, indispensable. He was aware, that to this there might be two objections urged. In the first place, it might be said, that it would be unfair to bring the individuals holding pensions before the House, and to induce disclosures which must be painful to individuals, and to lead to the surrender of those pensions which the present House were not willing should be granted but by a vote of that House. Now, suppose a Committee appointed by the House, surely the general object of such Committee must be to prevent the recurrence of abuse; not to judge upon 543 the Pension-list individually, but to employ themselves in detection of such abuses. The opinion to be given must necessarily apply to the parties to the abuses; and really he did not think that there was any injustice done to them who had been parties to such abuses. It might be said, that, under such circumstances, persons holding pensions might be compelled to surrender those pensions. Why, he would say, that this was one reason why they should pursue this course, because where surrender was made, it would be a prima facie proof of abuse in that instance. There might, indeed, be a question as to the propriety of withdrawing the pension in certain cases. The Motion he had to make expressed no opinion in this respect; it would simply suggest, that the House should resolve itself into a Committee, no doubt with the object of preventing abuses in future; and when the Report of such Committee should be once made and laid before the House, it would be competent for the House to take such measures as they might deem necessary. He himself thought, that, in cases where pensions were kept by fraud, it would be an act of justice only to withdraw such grants; but the active decision upon this must follow upon the Report being made. He had only one point further to which he wished to advert. It might be said, that in meeting a Motion such as that of the hon. member for Colchester by an Amendment, they were exposing themselves to obloquy. He begged to say, that he thought this a proper Motion to be made, though he could not conscientiously support it. But he believed, that the public excitement did not originate in the consideration of any small saving which might be effected by carrying a measure of this kind through. He believed, that the great object which the public had in view was, to know the real state of the facts; that if improper persons had been recommended to receive these pensions, the delinquents who recommended them should be brought to justice. Another great object which ought to be kept in view was, to prevent a recurrence of the existing abuses. On these grounds, he would propose his Amendment, in the full belief that, by adopting it, they would be acting honestly and fairly, and do justice to the country, whilst it would afford relief of such a kind as would be satisfactory to the 544 country. In conclusion, the hon. Member moved, "That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the pensions charged on the Civil-list and the Consolidated Fund, in order to ascertain the nature and extent of any abuses which have occurred in granting the said pensions, with a view to give effect to the Resolutions of the House of the 18th February last."
, in seconding the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby, said, he thought that it ought to meet with the concurrence and support of the House. He did not think it right to refuse inquiry; at the same time he did not think it would be right to enter into the subject with a full determination to apply a wet sponge to all pensions. He repeated, that he did most cordially support the Amendment of his hon. friend; for though on a former occasion he had voted for the Motion made by the hon. member for Colchester, it would be impossible to do so in this instance. The great object was, to get an honest and full investigation of gross abuses.
§ Lord Althorp
wished to observe that, while he thought the Amendment proposed by the hon. member for Derby was not liable to one objection which he had stated attached to the Motion of the hon. member for Colchester,—namely, it did not go to call upon his Majesty to negative the pensions which he had granted; and although he thought the speech of the hon. Mover of the Amendment was not liable to the objections of that of the hon. member for Colchester, still he considered the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby was exposed to pretty nearly as much and as strong objection as the original Motion. Coupling the speech with the Amendment, it did not involve the principle of injustice to which he had objected in the case of the original Motion. He did not think, however, that either the mover or seconder of the Amendment need have apologised for having voted for the Motion of the 18th February, because he did not think that the distinction between the two was so great as to make any apology necessary. Undoubtedly there was a great distinction to be drawn in the views with which they were brought forward, and in the speeches with which they were introduced. The objects appeared different. One stated by the hon. Mover was the great excitement which existed in the 545 public mind. He believed the excitement which prevailed was, to deprive the pensioners of their pensions. The question then was, whether it was necessary or desirable to enter into an inquiry upon these pensions for the purposes which had been referred to by the hon. member for Derby? He had stated, that the only purpose which he had in view, was to expose cases of gross abuse, and to bring censure upon those who, as he apprehended, had granted them, looking also to who were advisers of the Crown when these pensions were granted. But before they went to that, he would remind the House that, after the Resolutions of the 18th February, a distinct principle was laid down, by which the pensions should in future be given. But it was well known, that the Minister for the time being, who was responsible for these pensions, was the Prime Minister; and if they inquired who was the Prime Minister when certain pensions were granted, it would be found that he no longer existed. The hon. Member wanted inquiry to find out delinquents; why if there were any delinquents, they were dead; and was it worth while for the House to go into a Committee of Inquiry into the acts of those who had passed away from the jurisdiction of every earthly tribunal? He did not believe, that any advantage would arise from such an inquiry, having for its object the passing a censure upon Prime Ministers who were now in their graves. Then, again, the objection which he entertained to the Motion of the hon. member for Colchester was—that which he had ridiculed perhaps—namely, that such an investigation as that proposed must not only hurt the feelings of those who would have to undergo the investigation, but of those who had to make the inquiry. On these grounds he could not support the Amendment proposed by the hon. member for Derby. He felt himself, indeed, placed in a situation in which he knew he took an unpopular ground; he knew that, in pursuing the course he did, he exposed himself to obloquy out of doors; and he knew, that hon. Gentlemen who felt with him had not the support of the great majority out of doors. But for himself he was bound, in the exercise of his own duty, to oppose the Motion now proposed; he felt himself called upon to vote against the original Motion and the Amendment.
§ Mr. Hume
said, it was with great regret that he had heard the noble Lord's last sentence, because it was clear from that, that no call for inquiry could meet with approbation from his Majesty's Ministers. In other words, it was certain that his Majesty's Ministers were against all inquiry, and that they had staked their existence on this question. The hon. member for Derby had said, that no great economy would result from taking away pensions. Now, his hon. friend had distinctly stated, that he did not wish to interfere with those on the Civil-list—it was not his wish to take anything from the sum of 75,000l. on that list. But there was a sum of 85,000l. on the Consolidated Fund. Now he held that every pound which was taken away from this latter list, which had been improperly granted, was a saving to the country. Pensions should be given for honourable services, and only applied in those cases. It was now a matter of disgrace to be a pensioner of the Crown. These pensions were granted to persons who were known not to deserve them for any public service; and it was the duty of the House to purge the Pension-list. The question was one not of economy only, for it involved a principle which ought to receive the sanction of that House for the satisfaction of the people of England. It appeared to him, that the Motion of the 18th of February last, and the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby, were, in fact, the same. Did the hon. Gentleman who had moved the Amendment, however, suppose that when he should have obtained his Motion for a Committee of Inquiry, the people of England would be satisfied with that merely? Did he suppose, that they would be content to allow these parties to continue to enjoy their pensions? If it should be discovered that these pensions had been unworthily granted, it was the duty of a Reformed Parliament to do away with them. He would say, that the lapse of time in which these pensions had been held was no claim for exemption for inquiry into each case. He was confident that a Committee of that House might fairly be left to decide upon what pensions should be granted. When they looked to the wretched state of the people of this country, who were so grievously taxed, and whose property was occasionally seized to answer the demands of the revenue, it would be disgraceful on 547 their parts to allow a single sixpence to be taken from them for pensions to those who were utterly undeserving. He believed, that the Amendment would give satisfaction to the people. Although one Prime Minister might not be answerable for what had been done—though one Prime Minister might be dead, still there were others who were to be found, and who ought to be made responsible. Those persons ought to be made to know, that every man who improperly bestowed the public money, had violated the confidence of the Monarch; and betrayed the interests of the people. If abuses were discovered, they ought to arraign the Ministers under whose auspices such abuses had been permitted. Suppose he were able to prove, that a member of the late Administration was pensioned, that he had got a pension for himself; for instance; was he to be prevented from making inquiry into the circumstances. Let them punish those who were guilty, not those who might have been innocently led into the error, for he could see many excuses in various instances which might have occurred. While such gross abuses existed in respect to pensions, deserving men would think themselves disgraced by enjoying them, and men would go unrewarded. The noble Lord had said, that those who held pensions improperly should be punished—so said he (Mr. Hume). But the object of the House ought to be to maintain its character; if abuses were brought before it, they ought to be corrected. Justice demanded this at their hands. On these grounds he must say, that he thought his Majesty's Ministers took an erroneous view of public opinion. Although the question involved the sum of 100,000l. only, the principle involved the character of the Ministers. He had no doubt, indeed, that as far as they were concerned in respect to pensions granted in their time, their acts would bear inquiry; but why should they seek to cloak abuses practised by others, the existence of which was admitted on all hands. Allowing only one-half of what had been stated by the hon. member for Colchester to be correct, was there a man who would be prepared to enforce the Poor-laws Amendment in this country—was there a man who would be found to say, he would oblige the relatives of this or that poor man to provide for him, whilst hundreds of persons were allowed to receive thou- 548 sands of pounds of the public money for doing nothing? But the noble Lord seemed to think that it would be an un-gentlemanlike proceeding to withdraw these grants. He would for himself cordially support either the original Motion or the Amendment, he cared not which, Hon. Members might laugh, and, perhaps, many of those who did so, did not know that he might vote on both; but he decidedly objected to the House separating and refusing an inquiry.
§ Mr. Jervis
, in opposing the views adopted by his Majesty's Government, might be considered as speaking against his own interest, belonging as he did to a family which partook considerably of its advantages. The question was, whether they would or would not revise the Pension-list? He had not the slightest difficulty in saying, that the most proper, the most constitutional way of proceeding was, in the manner indicated by the Motion of the hon. member for Colchester. How did the matter stand? A certain sum was placed at the disposal of the Crown, the mode of its appropriation was an act of the responsible Government; and if there were reason to believe, that the Monarch had been misled by the information given to him by his responsible advisers, it was not only perfectly competent to the House, but it was their duty to call upon the Crown to reconsider its grants. It had been said, that they were bound by a compact with the King, the people, and the parties receiving the pension; but on the other side it had been admitted, that there might be such a thing as a revision; and if so at one time, why not at another? It might be perfectly true, that they ought not to interfere with the bounty of the Crown, but there could be no doubt that they ought to guard against the consequences of the Crown's being misled or misinformed. He understood the object of the hon. member for Derby's Motion to be, to prevent any pension being improperly granted in future, and to bind the Government not to give away the public money to any individual who had not merited such a reward by some public service. But would the public be satisfied with any inquiry, the object of which was thus limited? Though the amount of the Pension-list was small, yet the principle involved in it was great, and the people would never be contented with the appointment of a Committee, unless that 549 Committee was empowered to investigate the whole of the Pension-list, with a view to remove from it every objectionable grant, of however long a standing; for no statute of limitations could be found to give a title to corruption. It should be borne in mind, that the working man was called upon to contribute to the payment of these pensions out of his hard-earned wages, and therefore no inquiry would be satisfactory which was not followed by reduction. On that ground, though he did not object to the form of the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby, he was dissatisfied with his speech. The hon. Member, notwithstanding he was not a member of the Downing-street parliament, had adopted the views of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Althorp), and had proposed an Amendment for the purpose of supporting his Majesty's Government. The hon. Member's only object was, to place his resolution on the books of the House, with a view of preventing any future grant being made from improper or fraudulent motives. But the hon. Member might entertain very different opinions from those which he entertained, as to what constituted a fraud in the grant of public pensions. The hon. member for Derby would doubtless admit, that if any Minister placed the names of his creditors on the pension list, with the view of paying his private debts with the public money, that Minister committed a gross fraud on the country. He (Mr. Jervis) was, however, disposed to go further, and would designate the grant of any compensation for a nameless service, or what (to use a legal term) might be called nudum pactum, not capable of bearing investigation, a gross fraud on his Majesty's subjects. He wished to impress on the Ministers, that, by not acceding to the present Motion, they were losing an opportunity by which they might gain golden opinions. They had just received news of an event, which perhaps would be appealed to by a noble Lord (Russell) as a proof of the Government being too liberal in its opinions. He (Mr. Jervis) regarded it in a very different light. The party, with whom he acted, were becoming every day more convinced, that nothing was to be expected from the present Government—and were beginning to think, and with justice, that much more was to be expected from a violent Tory Government. The present Ministers were, in his opinion, 550 acting on Tory principles, and he repeated, that the people now began to think, that greater concessions would be made to them by a government apparently more violently Tory than the present. Nevertheless, the Ministers had still the means afforded them, by acceding to the present Motion, of retaining the confidence of the country; but if, obeying instructions from a high quarter, they chose to disregard the wishes of the people, they would gain, he would not say the contempt, but certainly the distrust, of all those who were at heart their sincere well-wishers.
said, he should vote against the Motion of the hon. and learned member for Colchester, and expressed his surprise that so many different opinions prevailed in that House on what appeared to him to be a very plain and simple question. His present Majesty, at the commencement of his reign, entered into a compact with his people, by which he agreed to give up the droits of the Admiralty, his hereditary revenues in Scotland, and the 4½ per cents (it having been found by experience, that a very improper use had been made of those funds), on condition, that the pensions granted by his brother and father should remain untouched, and that the power of conferring pensions in future to the amount of 75,000l. should be conceded to him. The House could not have forgotten, that the Pension-list formerly amounted to upwards of 200,000l.; it was now reduced to 150,000l.or 160,000l., and the bargain therefore was, in his opinion, most advantageous to the people. But if it had been less advantageous, yet, as the bargain had been made, he for one would not consent to break it. He believed that many gentlemen were afraid of voting against the present Motion for fear of incurring the displeasure of their constituents. Now, he had been in the habit of mixing with a large portion of his constituents, and he had never been afraid of stating to them the motives which influenced his vote on the question of the Pension-list on a former occasion; and he had not met a single individual who, when the matter was explained in a plain and simple manner, had not been perfectly satisfied with his conduct. Some hon. Members had talked a great deal of the privations suffered by the poor man in consequence of being called upon to contribute to the payment of these pensions, but the truth 551 was, that no single labourer was on that account deprived of the value of half a quid of tobacco. The people of England were generous, and would not wish to deprive those of their pensions who had nothing else to live on. The Ministers who were responsible for having granted these pensions were dead, their motives could not be investigated, and he therefore should oppose the Motion for inquiry.
§ Mr. Hawkins
rose and said, that having been one of those who, a few months since, had given a silent vote in favour of the motion of the hon. member for Colchester for an inquiry into the Pension-list, he wished to state very briefly the reasons which would guide his vote this evening. He might as well state at once, that to the present Motion of the hon. member for Colchester he could not accede. His first objection was to the manner in which the hon. Member proposed to accomplish his object. He protested against making the King the instrument of this invidious and ungrateful task. The present Sovereign had no hand in granting these pensions; they were not even granted during his reign; he had no power to prevent or control the grant. What right, then, had they to call upon him to undertake the odious office of deciding upon the merits of these grants, and of saying who should resign and who should retain their pensions. If they, the Commons of England, thought that justice to their constituents required the Pension-list to be purged, let them who thought so, themselves undertake the duty without shrinking. It might be a needful, a just, a beneficial job; but no one would deny that it was a dirty job; and as such ought to be performed by those who thought it necessary. Let them go into the inquiry if they must; let them abolish those pensions if they thought fit; but as Englishmen and gentlemen, let them not try to pocket the popularity of the proceeding, while they threw the responsibility and odium upon the shoulders of other persons who were not guilty of having created the necessity. Perhaps it would be said, that an address to the Crown was a mere formality; that, in reality, if this address were carried, the revision would be performed by Commissioners appointed by the Treasury. Still this did not remove his objection. It did not take away the repugnance he felt, to mix up the name of the King in 552 any way whatever, directly or indirectly, in this affair. They had no right to make him even an apparent agent in this work, and a revision of the Pension-list by royal commission would seem to a great proportion of the people of England, who were not acquainted with the formalities used on these occasions, as neither more nor less than a revision of that list by the King in person. Nor did he see how they had any more right to call upon the present Ministry to undertake this work than to call upon the King. His objection to putting it upon the King was only so much stronger than his objection to putting it upon the Ministry, as his respect for the King was greater than his respect for the Ministry; but the injustice would be equal in either case. This objection of his to the form of the Motion would of itself have been enough to prevail on him to meet it with a direct negative; but he objected equally to its object. Having risen rather to defend his own vote than to enter into a question which had been discussed on a former occasion, he would neither enter into the original merits of these grants, nor even enter into the merits of that arrangement by which they had been provided for in 1831, because let them quibble as they would about the exact meaning of the words "during the royal pleasure."—let them ring the changes as they would between settlements on the Civil-list and settlements on the Consolidated Fund,—this plain fact was beyond denial, that Acts of Parliament were laws solemnly enacted by the three estates of the realm. ["No! no!"] No! what, were hon. Members unaware of the existence of the Acts of 1831? Had they not read the Act which saddled one half of these pensions on the Consolidated Fund? He thought he was quoting nearly the words, he was sure he was quoting the spirit of the Act. Those Acts gave and granted to those individuals the amount of their respective pensions, during the lifetime, at least, of the present Sovereign. The Act said, "during the pleasure of the Crown." Aye! but that was not "during the pleasure of Parliament." Granted, that the King had the right to resume these grants, though even on that point he had doubts; it did not follow, that the House of Commons had the right to resume them, or even to call upon the King to resume them. Surely, if ever there was special pleading, it was 553 the attempt to get rid of the plain fact, that the persons held their pensions by Acts of Parliament, at least for the lifetime of the present Sovereign, subject to no reservation of control on the part of either House of Parliament. Thus much was undeniable; and until some one should succeed in convincing him that all the Acts of that Parliament which passed the Reform Bill were mere waste paper, he must hold these pensions as equally good in law as any other property secured by the Acts of that Parliament. But then he might perhaps be asked why he had voted for the last Motion of the hon. member for Colchester. He voted for it, because, though he was not prepared to take away these pensions, he still thought inquiry both useful and necessary; and the former Motion of the hon. Member was for inquiry, and inquiry alone. He did not forget the grounds on which so many Members opposed that Motion, namely, that although the Motion itself only pointed to inquiry, the object of the mover and his supporters was confiscation. In this view of the question he had not agreed; he had felt himself bound to regulate his vote upon the Motion itself, and not upon the political character of its author, or the construction which his opponents were pleased to put upon his intentions. It was for inquiry, therefore, that he had voted; and inquiry he still thought needful for many reasons. The House had been frequently asked if they were not ready to take away any of these pensions, of what use would be an inquiry, except to gratify mere idle curiosity? Now, he thought that even curiosity might be a ground for inquiry; for though it might be no ground to him, though neither he nor any Member of that House might feel such curiosity, yet he thought if the people who had to pay these pensions wished to know on what grounds they had been granted, the people had a right to have their curiosity gratified. Had they no better reason for their curiosity than to see how a Tory Government was carried on; did they want but a better reason to justify the Reform Bill, that would be reason enough for satisfying the curiosity of those who were called on to pay the expense. But he had higher grounds for inquiry. There was a very numerous party both within and without the House, who, thinking with him, that these pensions 554 were secured for the lifetime of the present Sovereign, thought, nevertheless, that at his decease they would fall in, and might then be resumed without injustice, if Parliament thought fit to resume them. Now, as there were confessedly some well-deserved pensions on the List, which no one would think of taking away under any circumstances, it was plain, that a resumption of part of the pensions could not take place without a previous inquiry into each case. Such inquiry, of course, would be long and difficult; and he put it to the House to say what chance they should have of carrying such an inquiry in the interval between the death of one King and the settlement of the Civil-list of his successor? The length and difficulty of the inquiry would be pleaded by the Minister of the day as a good reason for no inquiry at all; and if they delayed inquiry till the moment they were called upon to decide, it needed little knowledge of Treasury tactics to prophesy, that they would be called on to decide without inquiry. Experience told them, that, at such a time, they would find the House divided into two parties; one voting to retain the Pension-list in the lump without inquiry,—another voting its abolition in the lump, equally regardless of inquiry. Besides, whatever hardship there might be in stopping a pension at that time, it must be greatly diminished by long previous notice; and such notice would be given by an inquiry to-day. He claimed this inquiry, too, on the score of justice. Justice to those former Ministers, whose misconduct in sanctioning these grants had been, he was convinced, greatly exaggerated; justice to those really deserving pensioners who, he suspected, were more numerous than public indignation would readily believe. They had been told of the cruelty of dragging before the public those of whom it had been said, that if they had obtained their pensions without merit, they had, at least, obtained them without fault of their own. But he asked if it was no cruelty to those who enjoyed their rewards, not only without fault but with merit, to find themselves coupled in public estimation with those who had (to say the least) no more merits than faults? Surely the cruelty and injustice of denying inquiry in the cases of the deserving was greater than the cruelty of granting inquiry in the cases of the undeserving. And how 555 great, too, was the cruelty and injustice they were doing to those former Ministers who were responsible for these grants! Anxious for an opportunity to vindicate their conduct,—burning with just indignation at the shameful exaggerations which had gone the round of the public Press,—those Ministers were withheld by a sense of honourable feeling, with which none could avoid sympathising, from claiming to be heard in their defence, lest they should be obliged to call before the public eye the former objects of their bounty. Now, if the recipients of these pensions had not honour enough to step forward and vindicate their patrons, he thought it was time for the House, as a third and disinterested party, to step in and see justice done to those who were withheld by a feeling of delicacy from claiming justice for themselves. These were some, among many reasons, why he had voted for inquiry a few months since. And feeling himself ready, for the same reasons, to support inquiry now, he found before him an Amendment suggesting inquiry, on another ground and with other views than those which he had just stated,—but, he confessed, a ground equally good, and views equally useful. He agreed with the mover of this Amendment, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to secure a due attention to merit in the granting of future pensions, unless they could succeed in laying down some rules for the guidance of those who were to sanction such grants; and he thought, that those rules might be sought, with the best chance of success, among the examples of past irregularity. The Amendment would not, perhaps, accomplish all the objects he had in view in voting for inquiry. It would accomplish, however, the most important; it would give opportunity for calling to account those who were responsible for the abuses of the Pension-list, such of them at least as were still within the reach of human tribunals; it would give what was more important for the people to have, effectual guarantees against the recurrence of such abuses in future. Feeling, that he could not have consented to the original Motion, he gladly accepted the Amendment, as nearly meeting his own views and wishes.
§ Sir Robert Peel
I do not profess to be labouring under the influence of those feelings which the hon. Gentleman who spoke last ascribed to members of his 556 Majesty's former Government. I cannot say, that I am burning with indignation at the charges made against the Government of which I was a member, or that I have any such anxiety to vindicate my character as he appears to suppose. To not one of those charges do I attach the slightest importance; and if I did, I would not be influenced by any motives of false delicacy or mistaken honour to consent to a Motion that I believe to he inconsistent with justice, and with the respect which we owe to the Crown. Though I entirely approve of the manly course taken by the noble Lord on this question—though I believe, that he is perfectly right in resisting both Motions, and though I heard with satisfaction the declaration, worthy of a Minister of the Crown, that, pass what Resolutions you pleased, he would not be the servile tool to execute that which he disapproved; though I willingly re-echo that sentiment, yet I owe no obligation to the noble Lord for carrying before rue his protecting shield. I do not want to have warded off from me any censure which this Motion may be supposed to cast on former Administrations. I do not know what the issue of this debate may be. I know it is confidently predicted, that the inquiry will have a majority in its favour. I do not believe it; but, if it be so, to me personally it is a matter of but little consequence. With regard to any pension on that List of which I have cognizance, I have not the slightest apprehension of appearing before any tribunal. I have no personal interest in any; and all of which I know anything were, I firmly believe, given in the strictest accordance with the spirit of the Act empowering the Crown to confer them. As the noble Lord has said, this is a question on which short speeches are the best. It is, indeed, a question which lies within the narrowest limits. In point of fact, there is no question before us, There are, indeed, two Motions before us, which, perhaps, it will be your duty, Sir, in point of form, to put from the Chair; but, in point of substance, those Motions have been already annihilated. The speech of the hon. member for Derby cut from under him the ground on which the hon. member for Colchester took his stand; and the speech of that hon. Gentleman performed the same kind service for the hon. member for Derby. See how the case stands. The hon. member for Colchester proposes an Address to the Crown, 557 advising his Majesty to revise his own acts, and to withdraw those pensions, the continuance of which his Majesty had himself confirmed. This the other hon. Gentleman opposes as disrespectful to the Sovereign, and at variance with the duty which we owe to his Majesty; and nothing less will content him, than to give to such a Motion a direct and unqualified negative. Yes; a negative. No previous question, none of those delicate Parliamentary modes of getting rid of an unpleasant Motion sometimes adopted; nothing but a direct and unqualified negative will satisfy the hon. Member. The hon. Gentleman very justly said, that the Motion was inconsistent with the respect due to the Crown; that, if the question were to have been raised at all, it should have been raised previously to the settlement of the Civil-list; and that, as his Majesty himself had not thought proper at that period to make any alteration, it would not be becoming in the House of Commons, after having granted to his Majesty the means of conferring those pensions, now to turn round upon him, and call on him to revoke the grants of his royal bounty. How, said the member for Derby, can you, with any consistency, call on the present Ministers, who advised his Majesty to make this arrangement, now to advise his Majesty to recall it? How could his Majesty's Ministers, with decency, adopt such a course? Now, though I certainly think the proposition of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Strutt), the more respectful of the two, yet I cannot help feeling, to the fullest extent, the objection which the hon. Member himself so candidly made against his own plan. The objection was urged with great force, and appeared to me to be fatal. I turned round several times during the delivery of his speech to friends near me, and said, "This is an excellent speech; but what can be the nature of the Amendment which a man entertaining those sentiments can propose?" The hon. Gentleman over and over again laid down the doctrine of vested rights in the strongest manner I ever heard. He said the Motion of the member for Colchester would not only be disrespectful towards the Crown, but would interfere with the vested rights of the subject. As the hon. Gentleman said, what security would there be for property of any kind, if the property held on the authority of recent statutes should be thus violently 558 interfered with? And not only, said the hon. Gentleman, did he oppose this on the ground of justice, but he opposed it also on the ground of policy; for, said he, nothing could be more prejudicial to the great cause of gradual Reform, and the amelioration of our institutions, than to encumber it with the odium of acts of individual injustice; and unjust it certainly would be, to withdraw the amounts of those pensions from their existing holders. This being the doctrine of the hon. Gentleman, on what principle does he ask us to appoint a Select Committee to make an inquiry into the subject of those pensions, which pensions he himself would hold inviolate?
As he refuted the reasoning and destroyed the Motion of the member for Colchester, so with equal success has that hon. Member dealt with the reasoning and the motion of the member for Derby. For, said the member for Colchester, though originally in favour of an inquiry, subsequent consideration had induced him to alter his opinion. He said, that when he thought of the practical results of such a measure—when he thought of the necessity for calling before such a tribunal of inquiry innocent ladies of high rank—when he thought of young and delicate females having to inquire through the purlieus of that House their way to No. 13, the committee-room to which they were to be called—there appeared to be something so revolting to the feelings of an English gentleman, that, though he had at first approved of a Select Committee, the vision of those ladies waiting for the Committee, of which the hon. and learned Gentleman would be Chairman, had induced him to abandon his original intention and proceed by Address. The hon. member for Derby tells the people of England, that these pensions are vested rights, and yet asks for an examination into them, in order to satisfy pure curiosity. He admits, that you can save nothing by it—that, not a single farthing can be reduced; but, in order to gratify a prying, inquisitive love of scandal, we are to waste the public time in a Select Committee. But I ask that hon. Gentleman, whether, if I admit the vested interest and the legal right, and deny the power to withdraw that right, is it just to draw any intermediate line? is it decent for those who have not the courage or inclination to deny the right, to demand an inquiry into the origin of the 559 grants, for no other purpose than that of holding up the possessors to public indignation? Of all proceedings none could be more dangerous to property of every kind than this; for what could have a more injurious effect upon the title to property than to declare, that the owners possess it by legal right, and at the same time to damnify the possession by whispering a charge of moral turpitude? It would be better to address the Crown to rescind its own acts, than to appoint that odious Select Committee, for the purpose of making inquiries, which can be of no possible use or public advantage. The whole proceeding is, indeed, open to various grounds of objection. But, above all other objections is this, that the continuance of these pensions form part of the existing compact between the King and the people. And under what circumstances was this compact made? Was there a mere unrequited grant of a sum of public money to the Crown for the purpose of granting pensions? Certainly not. In 1830, the King sent a message to the House of Commons, in which he resigned to his people revenues that had never before been given up to them. His Majesty said,—'By the demise of my lamented brother, the late King, the Civil-list Revenue has expired. I place, without reserve, at your disposal my interest in the hereditary revenues, and in those funds which may be derived from any droits of the Crown or Admiralty, from the West India duties, or from any casual revenues, either in my foreign possessions, or in the United Kingdom. In surrendering to you my interest in revenues which have, in former settlements of the Civil-list, been reserved to the Crown, I rejoice in the opportunity of evincing my entire reliance on your dutiful attachment, and my confidence that you will cheerfully provide all that may be necessary for the support of the Civil Government, and the honour and dignity of my Crown.' And what was to be the equivalent for the revenues then for the first time so liberally given up? What but the Civil-list granted by Parliament in lieu of those revenues? What were the terms in which the Commons replied to the gracious message. 'We feel it our duty to express to his Majesty our unfeigned gratitude for the confidence his Majesty has reposed in us.' This was the Address 560 which you then presented, and now, by way of showing your unfeigned gratitude truly, you wish to present a second Address, four short years, only, after the first, implying that you have done wrong; that the provision for the Pension-list ought not to have been granted; and that the present Parliament is determined to rescind the engagement of the former, which was conveyed in the following address: 'We make acknowledgments to his Majesty for the surrender of his interest in revenues which have, in former settlements, been reserved to the Crown, and assure his Majesty, that we will cheerfully provide for the support of the Civil Government, and the honour and dignity of the Crown. The construction which the former Parliament placed on this grant may be seen from the fact, that 75,000l. was placed on the Civil-list for pensions, and the further sum of 85,000l. on the Consolidated Fund. That which I read just now, is not binding on you in point of law. It is only an address to the King; but what are the terms in which the Parliament has, by its statute, recognised the right of his Majesty to appropriate these sums? The preamble of the Act recites the address, containing the grateful acknowledgments of Parliament for the surrender of revenues which had never been surrendered before, and the assurance that his Majesty may, with confidence, rely on the liberality of his Parliament; and then, following up this principle, there is this enactment:—'It shall be lawful for his Majesty to direct a sum not exceeding 85,000l., to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, in pensions, at the pleasure of his Majesty, from the 5th of April, 1831.' And it goes on to point out who are to be the recipients. The next clause provides, that such pensions shall be guaranteed only to, or on behalf of those persons who were in the receipt or enjoyment of them at the period of his Majesty's accession, or who possessed pensions which were chargeable on the hereditary revenues in England and Scotland, &c., which his Majesty had graciously surrendered; and to show further how clearly the vested interest of the parties holding pensions is recognised, the next clause provides, that in the event of the resumption of the hereditary revenues by his present Majesty, his heirs, or successors, such pensions should again become chargeable on the hereditary revenues. If, therefore, the hon. Gentle- 561 man who spoke last had been inclined to push his argument a little further, he might fairly have contended, that the persons holding pensions by virtue of that compact are entitled to their continuance, not only during the life of the present Monarch, but during their own lives. Indeed it must be quite clear, that such a provision could only be made on the presumption that these parties were entitled to the enjoyment of these pensions during their lives. And by whom was that Act of Parliament passed? By the very Parliament that passed the Reform Bill—the Parliament elected under the excitement of 1831, and which passed the Reform Bill by triumphant majorities. Is it, then, I will ask, wise to impeach the solemn decisions of that Parliament; or can you safely invalidate one decision without bringing another into question? What safety can there be for property, unless you hold the laws securing it in respect. A great misconstruction prevails as to the intentions of Parliament with respect to the granting of pensions. It was thought expedient, that the right of the Crown to grant pensions should be limited in point of amount; but you laid down no principle on which the pensions should be granted; nor was it ever intended to fetter the discretion of the Crown in respect to the selection of the objects of royal bounty. I think it was right to limit the Crown in point of amount; and if you think it necessary to limit the prerogative yet further—if you think the monarchical influence so strong, that it must be still further controlled, you have the abstract right to control it, but it must be for the future only. When you are considering interests which became vested in times past, you must look to the past in order to ascertain the intentions of those by whom these vested interests were originally created. I do not wish to pass any opinion on the noble Lord's Resolutions of the 18th of May, which lay down the principles on which pensions should for the future be granted; but I submit, that a former Parliament, when it granted the sum of 85,000l. to his Majesty, granted it not for the sole purpose of rewarding official service, but for the purpose of enabling his Majesty to exercise his royal favour and bounty, without limitation as to the objects of that bounty; and I cannot conceive a greater injustice than because you 562 now find fault with the principles on which the pension-fund was granted to the Crown, that you should turn round on the Ministers who acted under the sanction of former Parliaments, and on the unfortunate holders of pensions themselves, and propose that they shall be sacrificed to your new notions of policy. The hon. Gentleman who introduced the Motion ventured to refer to Burke as his authority. I was surprised at that, as I thought I could remember more than one passage in the speeches of that celebrated statesman utterly at variance with the principles laid down to night. Nor am I mistaken in my conjecture. I have not trusted to my memory; I have referred to the speeches of Mr. Burke; and I shall be able, by a distinct reference to the words used by Mr. Burke on that occasion to show that his authority is completely against those who have appealed to it. Mr. Burke, in his speech on economical reform, says, "I do not propose, as I told you before Christmas, to take away any pension." Now this, it must be remembered, was the speech on the principles of which the present pension system was arranged. Before this period, the Crown had an unrestricted right of granting pensions. The object of Mr. Burke's Motion was to limit that right; he at the time representing the popular feelings on that point. This, therefore, is the most impartial and disinterested testimony which I can adduce to support my statement of the construction put at that time upon the right of the Crown. Mr. Burke says—'I do not propose, as I told you before Christmas, to take away any pension. I know that the public seem to call for a reduction of such of them as shall appear unmerited. As a censorial act, and punishment of an abuse, it might answer some purpose. But this can make no part of my plan. I mean to proceed by bill, and I cannot stop for such an inquiry. I know some Gentlemen may blame me. It is with great submission to better judgments, that I recommend it to consideration, that a critical retrospective examination of the Pension-list, upon the principle of merit can never serve for my basis. It cannot answer, according to my plan, any effectual purpose of economy, or of future permanent reformation. The process in any way, will be entangled and difficult; and it will be infinitely slow. There 563 is a danger, that if we turn our line of march, now directed towards the grand object, into this more laborious than useful detail of operations, we shall never arrive at our end. The King, Sir, has been, by the Constitution, appointed sole judge of the merit for which a pension is to be given.' I beg the House will mark that passage. We have a right, undoubtedly, to canvass this, as we have to canvass every act of government, if there be the suspicion of corruption or abuse, but we have not the right to canvass the discretion of the Crown as to the grant of any particular pension, merely because we differ as to the amount of merit in the grantee. If we have that right—we, and not the Crown, become the judges of merit, and the dispensers of favour. 'But there is a material difference,' Mr. Burke continued, 'between an office to be reformed, and a pension taken away for demerit. In the former case no charge is implied against the holder; in the latter his character is slurred as well as his lawful emolument affected.' But what says Mr. Burke in the supposed case of a person really possessing an unmerited pension? He says—'If in this examination we proceed methodically, and so as to avoid all suspicion of partiality and prejudice, we must take the pensions in order of time, or merely alphabetically. The very first pension to which we come, in either of these ways, may appear the most grossly unmerited of any. But the Minister may very possibly show, that he knows nothing of the putting on this pension—that it was prior in time to his Administration—that the Minister who laid it on is dead; and then we are thrown back upon the pensioner himself and plunged into all our former difficulties. Abuses, and gross ones, I doubt not, would appear, and to the correction of which I would readily give my hand; but when I consider that pensions have not generally been affected by the revolutions of Ministry, as I know not where such inquiries would stop, and as absence of merit is a negative and loose thing, one might be led to derange the order of families, founded on the probable continuance of this kind of income. I might hurt children—I might injure creditors. I really think it the more prudent course not to follow the letter of the petitions. If we fix this mode of 564 inquiry as a basis, we shall, I fear, end as Parliament has often ended under similar circumstances. There will be great delay—much confusion—much inequality in our proceedings.' Is it not quite clear from this, that no restriction was intended to be laid on the selection of persons to whom pensions were to be granted. Mr. Burke expressly states, that for the reasons above given he waives that mode of proceeding as part of his plan, for it is one of his maxims, that when he knows of an establishment which may be subservient to useful purposes, and which at the same time, from its discretionary power, is liable to a very great perversion from those purposes, he would limit the quantity of power which might be so abused, but not attempt to fetter the exercise in detail, of the power which he actually confided, If you require any further proof, it is only necessary to reflect for a moment, that if Parliament had adopted the principle of limiting pensions to public services, that accounts would have been called for from time to time, and that such accounts would have formed constant themes for angry discussions between contending parties. Other Acts have been passed by Parliament, and other funds provided to enable the Crown to reward official services—as, for instance, the Superannuation Act, and the Act enabling his Majesty to reward Ministers of the Crown. But the Pensions Act has always remained untouched. And although you may think, that the Crown may have been occasionally lavish in its grants, you cannot assert with truth, that the Pension-fund has ever been applied with any corrupt view of influencing votes, or procuring support in Parliament. There is the list open to public inspection, and it would not be difficult to prove it, if it were the case. Up, then, to the year 1830, Parliament and Ministers acted under the impression that the Crown had an unrestricted right to select for pensions on the Civil-list—those whom the Crown regarded with favour; that it was not an indispensable condition, that the receiver of a pension should have rendered what we call public service; and I submit, therefore, that either now to address the Crown, or to appoint a Select Committee would be an act of most manifest injustice. I deny, too, that the Tory Ministry are liable to the charge of corruption in the disposal of pensions, or that they abused the intention of the Pension-list in occasionally 565 advising his Majesty to make use of it for the purpose of facilitating official arrangements. You are now going to dry up the sources of that power of bestowing rewards for service which was once considered essential to the well-being of the State. The object of your present labours seems to be to ascertain at what rate public men can be invited into the public service at the least possible expense, and with the least possible inducements. What will be the effect of depriving every public man of these advantages of office which formerly operated as some temptation to him to devote his time and energies to the public, I know not. I hope you may be able to invite great talent into the service of the Crown; I hope you are taking a Course that will permanently ensure the devotion to the public service of those in whom the public can place confidence. That, however, is quite a different question from the present. There is very little doubt, that the King's Ministers have acted, in reference to that Act of Parliament, in pursuance of the construction which I have put upon it. If you institute an inquiry, I doubt not but you may find some instances in which a Minister has rewarded the faithful services of those who have acted under him in situations implying the utmost confidence. You will find, perhaps, that the wife or the daughter of the private secretary of a minister has received some mark of his acknowledgment for services—which, whatever, be the name by which they are called, are in truth public services, if they assist a minister in the execution of high responsible functions. Review the history of the public men who have influenced the affairs of this country during the last twenty years. Begin with Mr. Fox. How long did Mr. Fox serve as a Minister of the Crown before he died? A few short months. Then came Mr. Pitt, and he was cut off in the prime of life, I believe, by the labours and anxieties of office. Mr. Pitt was succeeded by Mr. Perceval, who perished by the hand of an assassin. Mr. Perceval was succeeded in this House by Lord Castlereagh, whose untimely fate was as much brought on by his devotion to the public service of the country, as if he had suffered in her cause in the field of battle. Mr. Canning survived his appointment to the office of Prime Minister scarcely half-a-year. When we recall to our recollection the splendid 566 abilities of these individuals, the great services which they rendered to the State,—when we consider how many of them sacrificed their lives in the service of their country, I ask you whether you think it would be decorous, or just to revoke the acts by which they may have rewarded services, that soothed the anxieties and lightened the toil under which they sank. ["Hear! Hear!"] I understand the meaning of that ungenerous cheer; it would insinuate that such men as I have named may have abused the Pension-fund for the promotion of some paltry personal objects, or the gratification of unworthy passions. I am proud of the censure and of the sneers of those who can harbour such suspicions, and rejoice therefore to hear the expression of them. I challenge you to produce the instance in which there has been a corrupt appropriation of the Pension-fund. I admit that pensions have been granted as acts of royal favour, without reference to what you call public service. I assert, that the Crown had a right so to grant them, that Parliament conferred that right, and uniformly acquiesced in its exercise; and that those, therefore, who have been the objects of the royal favour cannot justly be made the victims of your new views of public policy, and public justice.
§ Mr. Sheil
was at a loss whether he ought most to admire the oratorical display of the right hon. Baronet, or the lofty generosity of his speech. His Majesty's Ministers had joined in the condemnation of the Pension-list, stating that there were certain names there which ought never to have appeared on it, they had at the same time declared that these abuses occurred under an antecedent Administration, of which the right hon. Baronet was a Member; but in spite of these circumstances the right hon. Baronet, at a moment which was somewhat critical, came forward for the purpose of giving to his Majesty's Ministers what on all hands must be admitted to be his most disinterested support. The right hon. Baronet said, that the hon. member for Colchester differed from the hon. member for Derby. The right hon. Baronet should recollect that he differs from the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—the right hon. Baronet said, the Pension-list afforded no ground for investigation, while the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted, that it was open to inquiry; notwithstanding that assertion, 567 the right hon. Baronet asserted that an Act of Parliament had closed the subject. Of what consequence was it, whether hon. Gentlemen differed in matters of detail, provided the practical result were the same? What cared he whether the inquiry was instituted by an Address to the Crown, or through the medium of a Select Committee, provided there was an investigation of the Pension-list, such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and those beside him, in the year 1828, considered to be most legitimate and warrantable. If reliance was to be placed on Acts of Parliament, one would imagine that the Act of 1st of Will. 4th, was a complete novelty in legislation, and that this was the first time that there had been any surrender by the Crown of the hereditary revenues—that it was the first time there had been any recital in an Act of Parliament, of the consideration afforded by the Crown on one side, and the Return made by Parliament on the other. Let the House bear in mind that the 1st of George 4th, was a precedent from which his Majesty's Ministers had drawn the 1st of Will. 4th. Every one of the arguments now relied on by the Government against this Motion, were employed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 1828, against the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex. He would inquire of his Majesty's Ministers how they could reconcile their opposition to the present Motion, with their support of a Motion in 1828 for a precisely similar object? He had the speech before him delivered by Mr. Goulburn in 1828. He did not accuse hon. Gentlemen of plagiarism, but, certainly, the arguments used on that occasion were precisely similar to those now employed. In May, 1828, Lord Viscount Althorp is reported to have said: 'Although these pensions were placed at the disposal of the Crown, they must be given under the responsibility and by the advice of Ministers, and, therefore, the House had a right to demand such information as would enable them to ascertain whether the advice given was strictly followed.'* His charge against the Government was, that the very arguments now made use of by their opponents were urged by them in 1828, with the same, if not greater force, than at present. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Howick, and the present Secretary for the* Hansard (new series) xix. p. 835.568 Colonies, voted in support of the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, for an inquiry into this subject. If that were so and it could not be denied, how could Ministers reconcile their conduct on this occasion with the doctrines they had then inculcated? The 1st William 4th having passed, the hon. member for Colchester, in 1833, made a Motion for a Return, not only of the names of the persons on the Pension-list, but an account of the services they had performed, and of the consideration for which the pension had been allowed. That Return was ordered on an understanding that an investigation should take place into the principle on which these pensions had been granted. The charge on the Consolidated Fund was one thing—the charge on the Civil-list was another. No attempt had been made by the supporters of this Motion to distinguish the one from the other. That was the point on which the compact turned, for if there was a compact, he could not consent that it should he violated, for the interest of the people required that contracts should be maintained. But he denied the construction of the compact. The sum of 75,000l. was placed on the Civil-list to enable his Majesty to grant certain pensions. If the House took a farthing from that sum, there would be a violation of the compact; but while that 75,000l. ought not to be diminished, that House had a right to know in what way the sum had been allocated. There was no man who contended that these sums were actually given away at the suggestion of the King—they were disposed of under the responsibility of the Ministers. The Minister was but the organ of the Government, and in what respect was the compact with the King violated by asking—not of the King, but of the Ministers—for an inquiry into this Pension-list, which originated with themselves, had been always under their regulation, and for which they were responsible? It was said that there was a legal right. Did it follow, because a man had received much, where he ought to have received nothing, that therefore he was to receive more? With respect to the persons who stood upon the Pension-list, there was a great distinction between them. Those who had performed real service to the State, had an indisputable title. He was also free to confess, that those who needed, though they did not deserve, pensions, might find, in the 569 humanity of the House, an equivalent for right. God forbid, that Parliament should turn them out pennyless and unpitied on the world. But there was a third class of pensioners who could neither show desert, nor poverty. The hon. member for Colchester had put his finger upon many of these names, and he would not repeat them. Were those persons to be continued in the enjoyment of the pensions? The Ministers had formerly said no; they had now an opportunity of acting on their professions; let them hasten to embrace it, lest the chance of redeeming themselves should never occur to them again.
said, that although he had supported the former Motion of the hon. and learned member for Colchester upon this subject, he could not vote with him on the present occasion, inasmuch as he could not support any Motion which would involve in it a violation of public faith, as well as of a solemn compact between the Parliament and the Crown. Indeed, there was so wide a distinction between the present and the former Motion of the hon. and learned member for Colchester, that he could not reconcile them. He knew the people of England to be just and honourable; and he knew that they were desirous for some inquiry into this subject. He believed they had a just and proper right to call for such an inquiry, particularly when it was admitted upon all hands, that many of the pensions were most grossly and profligately bestowed. He was sorry that his Majesty's Ministers felt it necessary to oppose inquiry; for he apprehended that Ministerial responsibility should for the future be something tangible and real, and not a shadow or a bugbear with which to frighten or alarm the people. Nothing in his opinion could lower this Reformed House of Commons more in the estimation of the people than to treat with scorn the rights of property—that word property being rightly understood. He did not speak of vested rights, and all that sort of property which had been so spoken of, and treated as real property in this House during the discussion of the Reform Bill; but real bonâ fide property, which he hoped every one, in and out of this House, would be anxious to protect. He would only say, that under the circumstances he had stated, he would support the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby.
§ Mr. Rotch
said, that the people of 570 England would not be satisfied to look at this merely as a legal, but as a practical question. The right hon. member for Tamworth said, that those pensions were sanctioned by a Reformed Parliament; he denied it; a Reformed Parliament never would have concurred in them. It was intimated to him, that he had misstated the right hon. Baronet's expression, which merely meant, that the Pension-list was settled by the Parliament that granted Reform, but not by the Reformed Parliament. Be it so. That Parliament was hampered by the existence of the rotten boroughs which we had now got rid of. We were not to be excluded from revising the Pension-list by their act. Though he would be the last man in the world to fix upon his Majesty the performance of an ungracious act, or to call upon Ministers unnecessarily to undertake an invidious revisal of what had been done by preceding Governments, yet he considered it due to the people to take some steps to remove from their shoulders an odious burthen which was a disgrace to the country that endured it. He was anxious to keep Ministers in their places, because he believed that they were ready to go in the right way, if the House kept them to it; but the House was bound to look sharply, and consider the sentiments of the constituency, otherwise the Members would be left in the lurch. It was his intention, if an opportunity were afforded him, to propose an Amendment of a more practical nature than either of the Resolutions now before the House. ["Oh, Oh!] He wished the Pension-list to be weeded, in order that individuals whose fortunes were sufficient for their support might no longer be a burthen upon the public. With a view to effect this object he resolved to move an Address to his Majesty. That Address he should read, although he hardly expected that in the present temper of the House it would be attended to. But he was speaking for his constituents. He had been called to account by those constituents for his absence on the occasion of the former Motion on this subject. He informed them, that he was prevented from attending by illness, but he did not disguise, that if present, he should have opposed the Motion of the hon. and learned member for Colchester. He also told them, that he thought but little of the present Motion; yet to that Motion he must give his support. He 571 wished he were able to introduce his own: he confessed he liked his own child best. As to the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby, he was grievously disappointed by it. He should endeavour not to detain the House very long; he should read his Address. A few days ago, in his capacity of Magistrate of the county, he had to swear the widow of a person who had been in the navy—a widow with four young children, to the truth of an affidavit. The widow was obliged to swear, that she had not a single farthing beyond the amount of her pension. Why impose such a condition upon her, and not upon other pensioners? Widows, before receiving pensions such as he had referred to, were also obliged to swear, that they had contracted no new matrimonial alliance; thus they were pinned down both with respect to amount of income and marriage. He did not see why what was thought a good rule for one class of pensioners should not be extended to another. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving an Address to the Crown, expressive of dissatisfaction, that Pensions should be enjoyed by persons in possession of ample private fortunes, and stating, that the abolition of such Pensions Would be productive of satisfaction to the country.
Mr. Secretary Stanley
said, the hon. and learned Gentleman who last addressed the House, had professed himself ready to vote for the original Resolution, or for his own Address, if an opportunity should be afforded to move it, and this for reasons and upon grounds which might just as well have induced him to support the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby. He saw no reason, as far as the hon. and learned Member's expressions went, why he might not vote for either of those propositions as readily as for that to which he appeared disposed to give a preference. For his own part, he felt compelled to object in the very strongest manner to the original Motion, to the Amendment of the hon. member for Derby, and to the proposed Resolution of the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down. He was a little surprised to hear from a learned Gentleman who was Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions, a declaration, that the people of England would not be satisfied to look at this as a legal, but as a practical question. He was also surprised at the hon. and learned Gentleman's 572 frank avowal, that "he was now speaking for his constituents,"—equally surprised to find, that the hon. and learned Member was prepared to lay aside legal rights and equitable claims, and bring forward a practical measure for weeding the Pension-list. He objected to the original Motion of the hon. and learned member for Colchester, because it was one which led directly to an act of great practical injustice; he objected to the hon. member for Derby's proposition, because it was hardly less unjust in its tendency; and if there was any difference between it and the original Motion, it consisted in this—that the Amendment would neutralize the object sought to be obtained, and do away with its practical effect. Lastly, he objected to the proposed Resolution of the hon. and learned member for Knaresborough, because it was as unjust in principle as the one proposition, and as inefficient in its nature as the other. The hon. member for Tipperary asked, how it was possible that the Secretary for the Colonies and the noble Chancellor of the Exchequer, who in 1828 had voted for a reduction of the Pension-list, could now object to Address his Majesty to revise the Pension-list, or object to the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry on the subject? The hon. Member also said, that we had argued the case as if it were a novelty for the Crown to surrender its hereditary revenues, and afterwards receive a Civil-list and Pension-list upon the amount of which the House was to decide. Now, the right hon. member for Tamworth, who was certainly entitled to the praise of having offered a disinterested support to Ministers, had made a statement which had not as yet received an answer. The right hon. Baronet observed, "that in the peculiar circumstances of the present case there certainly existed thus much of novelty (not meaning by "novelty," the simple surrender of the hereditary revenues of the Crown, and the act of receiving back from Parliament a Civil-list, but)—that certain revenues were surrendered to Parliament which had been formerly left in the unrestricted power of the Crown." The right hon. Gentleman might have added, that there was this further novelty in the arrangement of the present Civil-list—an Act of Parliament had passed which not only recognized the Civil-list, as having been specifically granted on the ground of the surrender of the hereditary Crown 573 revenues, but the Pension-list had been diminished prospectively by one-half. Was there no novelty in this? The hon. Gentleman said, "Do you deny the responsibility of Ministers with respect to the Pension-list?" Certainly not. On the 18th of February last, we affirmed that responsibility by a Resolution of the House. But this was a principle and doctrine that had never been established before. The hon. member for Middlesex made a Motion in 1828, for Returns concerning the Pension-list of that day. His noble friend (Lord Althorp) and he supported that Motion, which implied profuse expenditure on the part of the Government of that day in the matter of pensions, and that a controlling power should be given to Parliament. The answer to this Motion was, "You surrendered the Pension-list fully and unequivocally; it is given up to the disposition of the Crown; we are not bound to answer for it; by refusing to accede to your Motion, we deny, that there has been lavish or extravagant expenditure, and by adopting that course we also negative your declaration, that the Crown is to be limited by Parliament in the exercise of its discretion with respect to the Pension-list." That was the doctrine of the Minister in 1828, but it was not our doctrine then or now. In 1828, Parliament decided against us, but more recently it had decided for us. It was asserted, that Parliament had a right to inquire into the Pension-list; undoubtedly it had, but when?—when the Crown held its hereditary revenues at its own disposal, when Parliament was making an exchange with the Crown, and agreeing to the terms of the Civil-list in return for the surrender of those revenues. That was the time to investigate the Pension-list and examine into the propriety of it. Had Parliament enjoyed no opportunity for such examination of the Pension-list on the accession of his present Majesty? Undoubtedly it had. A printed account of persons upon the Pension-list was laid upon the Table of the House in December 1830; in July, 1831, a vote of credit was taken on account of the amount unprovided for; and it was certainly true, that on that occasion his noble friend made use of an expression with exceeding candour, which had been referred to by the hon. and learned member for Colchester. His noble friend did say, "that the whole subject was open to the 574 investigation of Parliament." But when was this? on what occasion had his noble friend said so? On proposing a vote of credit for temporary expenditure till the House should make a final settlement of the matter. The Pension-list was again reprinted in the Session of 1831, and not until the Session of 1832, was the Act finally passed which concluded the bargain with the Crown with respect to the Civil-list given in exchange for the hereditary revenue surrendered on the accession of his present Majesty. Then was the time to institute an inquiry into the Civil-list or Pension-list if anything could be adduced against it. The whole subject was then before Parliament, which had the Pension-list for a period of eighteen months under consideration. A final arrangement was then made—the individuals upon the Pension-list being then before the House. No objection was made to any one item. He believed the hon. member for Middlesex did bring forward an Amendment in the Act, not however for the purpose of reconsidering individual grants contained in the Pension-list, but with a view to the Amendment of all, and for the purpose of having the pensions charged on the Consolidated Fund laid annually before Parliament, in order to prove to the satisfaction of the House, that the pensions were not unnecessarily or improperly given. What took place on that occasion? So far was the House from assenting to the hon. Member's proposition. It fell to the ground, because it actually did not find a seconder. On the third reading of the Bill the same hon. Member re-stated his objections, but said, that, having recorded his opinion on the subject, he had now no further objection to offer to the passing of the Bill. Thus, the Act by which Parliament effected an exchange with the Crown—giving a certain Civil-list for a certain amount of revenue relinquished by his Majesty—received, after being eighteen months before the House, as full an assent as any legislative measure could obtain. It was stipulated, that a certain number of pensions, as they fell in, should be carried to the credit and benefit of the country. This was the solemn engagement which it was now proposed to you to violate, either by calling on the Crown to do that which no private gentleman, in his family arrangements, could do without disgrace, or by appointing a Committee of Inquiry, which, 575 if it led to the revision or weeding of the Pension-list, could only proceed by an Address to the Crown, praying his Majesty to act on its recommendation to that effect. With regard to an Address to the Crown, he believed it to be the more constitutional course to address the Crown to revise that grant which the Crown had made. But let Gentlemen consider the circumstances of the case. Suppose any gentleman had come into the enjoyment of his estate, with certain annuities charged upon it, which, from some circumstance or other, were not supported by any strictly legal claim or title. Suppose that, on coming to his majority, and entering upon possession of his estate, he had solemnly confirmed those claims, not by legal instrument, but on his word as a man of honour, and had engaged to continue the annuities, so long as he retained possession of the property—assuming all this, he asked the House, as an assembly of Gentlemen, what they would think if this individual were to turn round on the annuitants afterwards, and call for their stamps and conveyances, to make out their claim to that which they trusted to the word of honour of the possessor to secure to them? And what would the House say to the man who, being the confidential friend and adviser of this individual, would thus address him—"True, you have pledged your word to these annuitants—true, your faith is plighted, and you cannot retreat from your engagement without dishonour—but here is an unpopular man you have given an annuity to; and you may curry some favour with your constituents in a neighbouring borough." He referred to the acknowledged principle of the hon. Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions. "I therefore advise you to retract your plighted word, and put the annuitant on his legal remedy, which you know he has not." If any man were to give such advice to a gentleman, his friend, he would be treated with that indignation and contempt, which a proposal of that kind deserved. Could he, then, venture, as a Minister of the Crown, to offer to his Sovereign that species of insult which he durst not offer to a private friend? He said it, he trusted, in no unbecoming tone, and with no want of respect for the authority of the House; but be their decision what it might—whether Parliament chose to address the Crown on the subject of the Pension-list, or in 576 any other mode or manner to interfere with those rights to which he considered the Crown and the Legislature as being in law and honour pledged—he would not be one of the persons to recommend his Majesty to revise or retract what had been solemnly granted. In deference to the opinion of the House, there were many sacrifices which men were bound to make—men holding responsible situations, not, God knew, from love of office, or through a desire of retaining place, but from the consideration, that when Ministers accepted office they were bound to make every sacrifice, which they could, consistently with honour, in order to carry on public affairs smoothly; but there were sacrifices which no men were required to make—sacrifices which, if they did make, the public usefulness of Ministers must be destroyed, because their private honour would be gone for ever. Ministers would be disgraced if, upon such grounds, they swerved from what they believed to be the correct line. "Well, but then," said the hon. Gentleman, "why not vote for my amendment?" The question was this—were the Motion and the Amendment the same things, or were they different? Was it intended, by the Amendment, to affirm the principle of deprivation, as well as by the Motion? What signified the principles or the views of either one or the other, if the conclusions of both were the same? Did the Amendment contend for the power of taking away what was the property of others, or did it merely seek for inquiry? The former was evidently the result both of the Motion and the Amendment, although he did not doubt that the views and principles entertained in putting them forth were entirely different. It might be said, that the only object of the Motion was, in effect, to look into the system by which pensions were granted. That was unnecessary. Ministers had affirmed the principles on which pensions ought to be granted, and the House had already established that principle. There was then no subject matter for inquiry. He did not mean to dispute with the hon. Gentleman that Ministers were responsible for what they did, and that this rule attached to the acts of any ministry, whether past or present; but if the hon. Gentleman were to come forward with a Motion, or an Amendment on a Motion, and move for an Inquiry into the conduct of Ministers who concluded the peace of Amiens in 577 1802, or any Ministerial measure in 1804, he would object to the Motion as unnecessary, and he should resist it, he hoped, successfully. But the hon. Member said, "I want to read over this Pension-list, that I may see what persons of large property receive pensions." Now he would allow, that he should consider a man who enjoyed a large private fortune at the time he was in the receipt of a pension as acting in a manner which he should not consider very praiseworthy. But he did not know, that he should therefore attempt to deprive him of his pension. The Committee which sat for the purposes of inquiry into civil pensions, confined their investigations to those which were affirmed to be granted for diplomatic services; but they did not, like the hon. Member, lay down a rule similar to that which he proposed to establish, but thought it better to express their strong disapprobation of prodigal grants, and, following up Mr. Burke's plan of economical reform, to recommend a reduction of the sum thus disposable to 40,000l. per annum, looking by this means to check any improper distribution of the bounty of the Crown. But the hon. member for Knaresborough, though he was a Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, had determined to pass by all the law of the case, and was intent on weeding the Pension-list, and striking off all persons who possessed any private income. Now, whether they had private property or not, had nothing to do with the question. Either they had a legal claim or they had not. If they had, their claim must be allowed; if not, how could their demands be set aside, and the claims of others be recognized? His own argument might be sufficient for the hon. Member, but would it palliate the conduct of a Committee in refusing to listen to legal claims? The hon. and learned member for Tipperary had drawn a distinction between the pensions charged on the Pension-list and those on the Consolidated Fund. What was to be said of the justice which would leave all those whose names happened to begin with the letters from A to H, while those who were fortunate enough to have their initials in the remainder of the alphabet were to be cut off? The allocation of the claims, be it remembered, was made by this very Parliament who had passed this Act, which not only said, that they should be paid, but deliberately fixed the sources from 578 whence the payments were to come. This reminded him that the hon. and learned member for Knaresborough had asked from whom did this Pension Act emanate, and called upon the House to consider it as nothing, because it was a law made by an unreformed Parliament. Good God! If he—again the Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions—if he was prepared to advance such reasons as these in his decisions on the Bench—if, when a party called upon him to enforce an Act of Parliament, he replied to them, "Oh, yes; true it is that this is the law according to the Act; but then the Act was passed by the corrupt borough mongers, and therefore it is a dead letter;"—if so, all he could say was, God help the unfortunate persons who had their legal rights at the mercy of such a judge! The hon. member for Chester had told his Majesty's Ministers, that they were fast forfeiting the confidence of the country, and that there was more good to be hoped from others than from them. If they had lost the confidence of the country, all he could say was, that the sooner they ceased to be the Ministers of the Crown the better. It might be of little consequence who sat on that side of the House, who on the other; there might be in the vast stores of principle and intelligence which abounded in that House—many who would give more satisfaction to the hon. member for Chester than the present Ministers could hope to do; but he did hope that the time would never come when any Minister, or any Parliament, would be found to recognise the monstrous doctrine, that in a reformed Parliament they were not to regard the acts of the unreformed House as law—and not to observe the solemn engagements which had been made with the Sovereign in consideration of the substantial advantages surrendered by him to the people. But, if so, he trusted there never would be found the Minister bold enough, or base enough, at the command of any Parliament, to insult his Sovereign by the advice to violate his plighted word.
observed, that he should say a very few words, and he should not have said any thing at all, but for the boldness that contended for a contract that did not exist, or a law which had not been passed. He denied, that either existed. The noble Lord said, that there was a legal right on the part of those who enjoyed the pensions granted; but why 579 did not the noble Lord ask the opinion of the law officers of the Crown? A Pension-list had been granted; true, and pray who had sought to cancel it? It stood on an Act of Parliament which he held in his hand. And for what term were these pensions granted? For the life of the King? No.—For the life of the party? No.—For what term, then? Why, during pleasure; during his Majesty's pleasure.—What, then, became of the legal right? The hon. member for Knaresborough was taunted with this phrase, but, he would ask, where was the legal right? And if this legal right were so firmly established, pray what was the meaning of the responsibility of Government? A Tory Government was at least consistent, when it insisted that any interference with the Pension-list was an infringement of the Royal prerogative; but when the Ministers admitted formerly that there ought to be a responsibility, and now professed to be subjected to it, what was it but an empty sound? He thought there was more prudence than chivalry in the part taken by the right hon. member for Tamworth, and that the Administrations with which he had been connected had but little reason to triumph in the distribution of their favours; there were private reasons at work in the course that had been followed; but it was not a feeling of false delicacy, forsooth, which should deter a man from supporting what he believed to be the truth. False delicacy! he liked the word. When thousands were in a state of destitution, when the agricultural interest was in the lowest state of depression, we heard high and haughty speeches in favour of those who, of all persons, ought not to fatten on the public purse; yet we had a most pompous oration to demonstrate that characters of high birth and dignity should not be treated with neglect. Why should not the Crown receive the same advice from its confidential servants as a friend would tender to a friend? Suppose a man to say to another, "Here is a sum of money, which you are and have been in the habit of allowing this woman, who is a most improper object of your bounty; for heaven's sake, do not let her enjoy it any longer; your pleasure determined its commencement, and should its termination." When he spoke of private reasons for opposing the Motion, he did not mean to say, that the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies, or the noble Lord, were 580 influenced by such motives; he did not even mean to insinuate it, and so the right hon. Gentleman was quite safe. Government stood in the situation of trustees for the State, but the present Ministers had done nothing this Session for the country; they had got the money they wanted, to be sure, but that was all they had even tried at. Let them, at least, grant that inquiry, which was a small boon, though it might do great good as an evidence, that Ministers had not altogether lost sight of their duty to satisfy the people.
§ Mr. Harvey
observed, in reply, that it was his intention to take the sense of the House upon the original Motion; and if that were lost, it was his intention to vote for the amendment, and he was induced to adopt this course, in order that no one might have an opportunity to explain to others that the retreat of the original Motion had compelled him to oppose the inquiry. The hon. Secretary for the Colonies had met this Motion in great candour. He had at once told the House, and in that respect he had removed suspicions and whispers of apprehensions, that in the event of either of those Motions being carried, it was the signal of his retreat from office, accompanied by all his colleagues; but there was another party whose opinion remained to be expressed. We had two Cabinets; we had two sets of Ministers; one was at least gratuitous, for though the right hon. Gentleman opposite formed the Cabinet of the Crown, the real Government of the country was the right hon. member for Tamworth. No hen was more anxious to bring her chickens under her wings, than were the right hon. Gentlemen opposite to acquire the favour of that right hon. Member. Night after night they were sending forth leering looks, and an expression of gratification beamed over their previously gloomy countenances, the moment it was ascertained to what point the right hon. member for Tamworth meant to steer. Not that it was matter of reprehension, because all knew what general coincidence of sentiment there was upon both sides, and that Ministers might generally calculate upon perfect concurrence. Ministers seemed to be joining in the present system of intimidation. The tailors had struck, and the country was now threatened with a strike in the Cabinet. He had no doubt, however, that the people would derive comfort from the same source from which the master tailors had 581 found comfort in the absence of their men—viz. that old women might conveniently supply their places. Now, as to the amendment of the hon. member for Derby, he thought, with all due respect to the hon. Member, that he took too high a tone when he said, that be could not, as an honest man, support the original Motion. The hon. Member appeared to him to follow too much the course of a Jesuit, to lay any strong claim to honesty, for never was there a Motion which bespoke such unenviable dexterity as the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. He never would, and never could, vote for any proposition which, meaning nothing, was designed to produce an effect against the Government. He disliked the commentary of the hon. Member's speech, more than the terms of the Motion. As a resolution, nothing could be more clear and satisfactory. He asserted, that this Pension-list was full of abuse. He took it for granted, that they were not to have a Committee of Jesuits, who were to be the sole interpreters of this amendment? There were to he some persons in it who were to have some little sympathy with the views and objects of those who supported the original Motion. It might be found, that some of these pensions were granted on grounds which would find no supporters, and that our hair would stand, and our blood chill, when we heard the narrative of the reasons for which they were conferred. What did the hon. member for Derby mean to do with discoveries of this sort? Did he mean to say, that it was at variance with a high sense of honour to ask his Majesty to discontinue the whole of the Pensions which should be so granted. We must come, then, to the original Motion. He was, therefore, content to vote for the amendment, because, in its spirit, and result, it embraced the object he contemplated. It was said, that these were vested rights. But would it not be too much to say to the nobility of England, your title to your estates is no better than the vested rights of these Pensioners. Why, if any Radical had said, that private property, the ancient possessions of our nobility, and the diversified properties of this country were held on no better or more sacred tenure than the grants in this Pension-list, it would have been exposed by the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies, in the most vehement language of bitter invective, as marking the has morality of the 582 movement. But let us come to the question, that these Pensions were granted by Act of Parliament. He denied, that that was law in this House—he denied, that, if any one of these Pensioners was to bring his pension to market, and send a title to a conveyancer in Lincoln's Inn, to prepare an assignment on behalf of a purchaser, that the conveyancer would do otherwise than say, "You have no title beyond the will of the Crown." Three of these pensions had so come under his notice; and the answer had been, "the purchaser must exercise his own discretion, because it is competent to the Crown to withdraw them, and, on a demise of the Crown, to annul them." He had known pensions worth fifteen or sixteen years' purchase sell for twenty-four months' purchase. Suppose his Majesty had thought fit to erase the whole of the Pensions, would it not have been considered a most outrageous attack on the Crown to dispute his power? Would it not have been said, "his Majesty has the sole disposal of the money; he can deal with it as he thinks fit; and if your case does not come before the Crown with some reasons which recommend it to consideration, you have no remedy, and no just ground of complaint." If his Majesty were to die to-morrow, and the Pension-list were to be held sacred, there would be a perpetuity of vested rights. It was said, that vested rights were likely to be endangered. On this subject he would read an extract from a speech, with which he would conclude. It was well entitled to consideration, because it spoke to the point; it put to silence the argument of vested rights, and came from a quarter of all others most entitled to respect. It was a speech of the right hon. the First Lord of the Admiralty, who, when on this side of the House, brought forward a series of Motions, the first of which was a return of all Pensions received by Privy Councillors. The hon. Baronet said: 'Before I sit down, I beg to refer to the argument with which I know we shall be met upon this occasion, as we have often been met before—I mean by the argument of vested rights. If the House will pardon me, as that argument has been answered in better language than I could possibly use,—in terms, too, most carefully considered by the noble Lord who used them,—I will quote them from the last speech delivered in this House by the 583 Marquess of Londonderry. It was upon a motion, in which, in opposing the opinion of Mr. Canning on this subject, the noble Lord said: "If this notion of vested interests and freehold rights were to go forward, then there must be an end of legislation; these rights and interests would meet them at every turn, and put a stop to every measure, however beneficial or necessary. Why should the public offices be conducted on a plan different from private concerns? If a banker or private merchant wished to remove a clerk, or to lower his salary, he did it at once. Now, would any man contend, that that clerk would have a right to turn round and say: 'I gave up a fellowship at College, and a place in the Church to accept of your clerkship; and, therefore, you ought not to dismiss me.' If any hon. Member on the other side were to bring forward a Motion of this kind—" Ay, Sir, these were days before we, on this side of the House, had transferred our services to the Crown, and had deserved by our conduct, the name of "his Majesty's Opposition."—"If any hon. Member on the other side were to bring forward a motion of this kind, and he (Lord Londonderry) were to meet it by saying, that the salaries in the public offices were vested rights—were a kind of freehold, and could not be tampered with, the idea would be scouted." These, Sir, were some of the last words of that noble Lord in this House. They merit our praise, for they were true; they deserve to be inscribed on our recollection, and I trust that they will not be forgotten in the vote of to-night. It is the higher classes of officers that are the subject of my Motion; it is they upon whom I propose to take your vote to-night; it is they who are included in the Returns for which I am about to move. I seek to regulate them; and until I see these returns denied me by the vote of this House, I will not believe that even the influence of the Minister of the Crown will be sufficient to refuse them. I have read somewhere—and I fully subscribe to the truth of the observation,—that the mark of a wise and prudent government, and that which distinguishes it from an unwise and imprudent government, is, well to know the time and manner at which no longer to refuse what is demanded of it. Let the Government now show its wisdom and 584 prudence; for, if ever there was a time when the people of this country imperatively demanded a searching scrutiny into the public expenditure, it is at this moment. I will put to public proof the question, whether the conduct of the Ministers deserves to place them high in public opinion, on the score of the use they make of their patronage. On that subject we have a pledge of theirs, most solemnly put forth, that they would voluntarily make every saving required by the public interest, and capable of being carried into execution consistently with the public safety. I will put that pledge of theirs to the test—I will propose a measure of substantive retrenchment, economy, and reform. That is the issue which we are to try to-night. On a former occasion I yielded—I took their pledge. Let them now redeem it; let them give me these returns; and we shall then see whether they have been willing to keep good faith with this House and with the people of this country.'* It was in this spirit, that he invoked the House. His Motion would be a test of their sincerity, and of that their constituents would be the judges.
§ The House then divided on the original Motion—Ayes 148: Noes 390: Majority 242.
§ The House divided again upon Mr. Strutt's Amendment—Ayes 230: Noes 311: Majority 81.
|List of the AYES on the First Division.|
|Adams, E. H.||Crawley, S.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Curteis, H. B.|
|Attwood, T.||Curteis, E. B.|
|Baillie, J. E.||Dashwood, G. H.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Davies, Colonel|
|Barnard, E. G.||Dykes, F. L. B.|
|Beauclerk, Major||Edwards, J.|
|Berkeley, Hon. G. C. F.||Ellis, W.|
|Berkeley, Hon. C. F.||Etwall, M.|
|Bewes, T.||Evans, Colonel|
|Bish, T.||Faithfull, G.|
|Blake, Sir F.||Fellowes, Hon. A. W.|
|Blamire, W.||Fenton, J.|
|Blandford, Marq. of||Feilden, W.|
|Boss, Captain J. G.||Fielden, J.|
|Bowes, J.||Fleetwood, P. H.|
|Briggs, R.||Fort, J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Fryer, M.|
|Buckingham, J. S.||Gaskell, D.|
|Bulwer, E. L.||Godson, R.|
|Chaytor, Sir W.||Goring, G. H. D.|
|Clay, W.||Grote, G.|
|Codrington, Sir E.||Guest, J.|
* Hansard (new series) xxiv. p. 741.
|Hall, B.||Gillon, W. D.|
|Halse, J.||Oliphant, L.|
|Handley, H.||Oswald, R. A.|
|Handley, Major||Oswald, J.|
|Hardy, J.||Parnell, Sir H.|
|Heathcote, J.||Sandford, Sir D. K.|
|Hill, M. D.||Wallace, R.|
|Hughes, H.||Baldwin, Dr.|
|Hudson, T.||Barry, G. S.|
|Humphrey, J.||Bellew, R. M.|
|Hutt, W.||Blake, M. J.|
|Ingilby, Sir W.||Blackney, W.|
|James, W.||Butler, Hon. Colonel|
|Jervis, J.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Kennedy, J.||Copeland, Ald.|
|Langton, Colonel G.||Finn, W. F.|
|Leech, J.||Fitzgerald, T.|
|Lennox, Lord W.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Lester, B. L.||Fitzsimon, N.|
|Lester, E. C.||French, F.|
|Marryatt, J.||Grattan, H.|
|Methuen, P.||Lalor, P.|
|Mills, J.||Lynch, A. H.|
|Parrott, J.||Macnamara, F.|
|Pease, J.||Nagle, Sir R.|
|Philips, M.||O'Brien, C.|
|Potter, R.||O'Connell, D.|
|Ramsbottom, J.||O'Connell, C.|
|Richards, J.||O'Connell, Maurice|
|Rickford, W.||O'Connell, Morgan|
|Rippon, C.||O'Dwyer, A. C.|
|Robinson, G. R.||O'Ferrall, M.|
|Roebuck, R. A.||O'Reilly, W.|
|Rotch, B.||Roche, W.|
|Scholefield, J.||Roche, D.|
|Scrope, C. P.||Ronayne, D.|
|Spry, S. T.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Ruthven, E.|
|Tennyson, Rt. Hon. C.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Tollemache, A. W.||Sullivan, R.|
|Tooke, W.||Talbot, J. H.|
|Trelawney, Sir W. L. S.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Turner, W.||Walker, C. A.|
|Tynte, C. J. K.||Wallace, T.|
|Vincent, Sir F.||TELLERS.|
|Walter, J.||Harvey, D. W.|
|Wason, R.||Hume, J.|
|Watkins, J. L.||PAIRED OFF FOR THE MOTION.|
|Whalley, Sir S.||Bulwer, H. L.|
|Williams, Colonel||King, E. B.|
|Williams, W. A.||Molesworth, Sir W. E.|
|Wilks, J.||O'Connell, J.|
|Wilmot, Sir E.||O'Connor, F.|
|List of the AYES on the Second Division.|
|ENGLAND.||Barnard, E. G.|
|Adams, E. H.||Beauclerk, Major|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Benett, J.|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Berkeley, Hon. G.|
|Attwood, T.||Berkeley, Hon. C.|
|Baillie, J. E.||Bewes, T.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Bish, T.|
|Baines, E.||Blackburne, J.|
|Blake, Sir F.||Hurst, R. H.|
|Blamire, W.||Hutt, W.|
|Blandford, Marq. of||Ingham, R.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Ingilby, Sir W.|
|Boss, Captain||James, W.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D.||Jervis, J.|
|Bowes, T.||Kennedy, J.|
|Briggs, R.||Langdale, Hon. C.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Langton, Col. G.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Leech, J.|
|Brodie, W. B.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Brotherton, J.||Lennard, T. B.|
|Buckingham, J. S.||Lennox, Lord G.|
|Bulwer, E. L.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Cayley, E. G.||Lennox, Lord W.|
|Chaytor, Sir W.||Lester, B. L.|
|Clay, W.||Lister, E. C.|
|Codrington, Sir E.||Lloyd, J. H.|
|Collier, J.||Locke, W.|
|Curteis, E. B.||Madocks, J.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Marryatt, J.|
|Dashwood, G. H.||Martin, J.|
|Davies, Colonel||Methuen, P.|
|Dawson, E.||Mills, J.|
|Denison, W. J.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Dick, Q.||Moreton, Hon. A. H.|
|Dillwyn, L. W.||Morrison, J.|
|Divett, E.||Ord, W. H.|
|Dundas, Capt.||Parker, J.|
|Dykes, F. L. B.||Parrott, J.|
|Edwards, J.||Pease, J.|
|Ellis, W.||Pendarves, E. W.|
|Etwall, R.||Petre, Hon. E.|
|Evans, Colonel||Philips, M.|
|Ewart, W.||Philpotts, J.|
|Faithfull, G.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Feilden, W.||Potter, R.|
|Fellowes, H. A. W.||Poulter, J. S.|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||Pryme, G.|
|Fenton, J.||Pryse, P.|
|Fielden, J.||Ramsbottom, J.|
|Fleetwood, H.||Richards, J.|
|Fort, J.||Rickford, W.|
|Fryer, R.||Rider, T.|
|Gaskell, D.||Rippon, C.|
|Godson, R.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Goring, H. D.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Grote, G.||Romilly, J.|
|Guest, J. J.||Scholefield, J.|
|Guise, Sir B. W.||Scott, J. W.|
|Gully, J.||Scrope, C. P.|
|Hall, B.||Seale, Colonel|
|Halse, J.||Shawe, R. N.|
|Handley, B.||Simeon, Sir R.|
|Handley, H.||Spry, S. T.|
|Hardy, J.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Staveley, T. K.|
|Hawes, B.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Tennyson, Rt. Hon. C.|
|Heathcoate, J.||Thicknesse, R.|
|Hill, M. D.||Thompson, Ald.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Todd, R.|
|Hoskins, K.||Tollemache, Hon. G.|
|Hudson, T.||Tooke, W.|
|Hughes, H.||Torrens, Colonel|
|Hume, J.||Townshend, Lord C.|
|Humphrey, J.||Trelawney, W. L. S.|
|Turner, W.||Barry, G. S.|
|Tynte, J. K.||Bellew, R. M.|
|Vernon, Hon. G.||Blackney, W.|
|Vincent, Sir F.||Blake, J.|
|Vivian, J. H.||Butler, Hon. P.|
|Walter, J.||Callaghan, D.|
|Warburton, H.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Wason, R.||Copeland, Alderman|
|Watkins, J. L. V.||Evans, G.|
|Watson, Hon. R.||Finn, W. F.|
|Whalley, Sir S.||Fitzgerald, J.|
|Wilbraham, G.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Wilks, John||Fitzsimon, N.|
|Williams, Colonel||French, F.|
|Williams, W. A.||Grattan, H.|
|Wilmot, Sir E.||Jephson, C. D. O.|
|Windham, W. H.||Lalor, P.|
|Winnington, H. J.||Lynch, A. H.|
|Wood, Alderman||Macnamara, F.|
|Yelverton, Hon. W. H.||Macnamara, Major|
|Young, G. F.||Nagle, Sir R.|
|Abercromby, Rt. Hn. J.||O'Connell, D.|
|Bannerman, A.||O'Connell, C.|
|Dunlop, Captain||O'Connell, Maurice|
|Ewing, J.||O'Connell, Morgan|
|Fergusson, R. C.||O'Connor, Don|
|Gillon, W. D.||O'Dwyer, A.C.|
|Johnston, A.||O'Ferrall, M.|
|Maxwell, J.||O'Reilly, W.|
|Murray, J. A.||Roche, W.|
|Oliphant, L.||Roche, D.|
|Oswald, W. A.||Ronayne, D.|
|Oswald, J.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Parnell, Sir H.||Ruthven, E.|
|Pringle, R.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Sandford, Sir D. K.||Sullivan, R.|
|Sharpe, General||Talbot, J. H.|
|Sinclair, D.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Stewart, Sir M. S.||Walker, C.|
|Wallace, R.||Wallace, T.|
|Baldwin, Dr.||Romilly, E.|