HC Deb 16 March 1835 vol 26 cc1046-8

On the Motion that there be granted for the wages to Seamen and Marines to the Ordinary and Yard craft the sum of 933,054l.

Mr. Hume

wished to know how many men were employed in the Royal yachts.

Lord Ashley

said, there were employed in the yachts, fifteen, sixteen, and fourteen, besides the master and some other officer whose designation did not reach us.

Mr. Hume

wished to know how many yachts there were.

Sir James Graham

said, there were formerly five yachts, but now, as we understood him, there were only three employed.

Mr. George F. Young

stated that, though the yachts might be lying without men or officers, yet they cost a considerable sum in keeping in a state of efficiency which the House knew nothing of, and they were always liable to expense.

Lord Ashley

said, that there were two boats' crews and two captains, who were partly paid as superintendants in the dock-yards.

Mr. George F. Young

gave notice that he should move for a return of the expense of keeping up the two yachts for the last three years; and then, on the bringing up of the Report, he should take the sense of the House on the question of the propriety of reducing the estimate by the amount of that expense.

Admiral Adam

said, that desirous as he was of enforcing every practicable economy, he should be sorry to see the state and dignity of the King, in a maritime country like this, deprived of its necessary appendages,

Mr. Aaron Chapman

thought it would be a disgrace to the House of Commons to entertain the idea of effecting a reduction in so paltry an establishment as that of the Royal Yachts.

Sir E. Codrington

thought, the attempt most discreditable. He would prefer seeing the office of Lord Chamberlain, and other offices of that description, abolished, to dispensing with those yachts, which were necessary for the maintenance of the Royal dignity. He could not help designating any proposition which went to effect that object, as despicable economy.

Mr. Gillon

protested against the use of the phrase, "despicable economy," as it was applied by hon. Members, who had taken a part in that discussion. He conceived that it was much more disgraceful, that hon. Members should sanction any resolution which would take a pound unnecessarily out of the pockets of the people, than they should give their support to the view which the hon. Member for Middlesex took of this matter.

Mr. Charles Buller

observed, that under the guise of what was termed keeping up the Royal dignity, a great deal of jobbing was frequently concealed; and he had no hesitation in expressing it as his opinion that the resolution then before the House had all the characteristics of a job.

Captain Berkeley

said, that the captains who commanded those yachts were competent to serve on courts martial, and they were frequently selected as Judges in that tribunal, when it might be very inconvenient to bring officers from a distance to the stations where these officers were placed as commanders of his Majesty's yachts.

The resolution was agreed to.