HC Deb 22 December 1837 vol 39 cc1507-8

On the motion that the Report of the Duchess of Kent's Annuity Bill be received,

Colonel Sibthorp

said, that however painful it was to him to rise for the purpose of again moving the amendment upon which he had last night taken the sense of the House, yet he could not hesitate performing that which he considered his duty under any circumstances. He would take that opportunity of deprecating the indecent degree of laughter with which his observations upon this subject were last night received by the members of her Majesty's Government—who must have supposed that he was acting with an undue regard to the feelings of that illustrious individual to whom his Amendment related. He must say, however, that such a supposition came with a very bad grace from them, and that he considered there was much greater disrespect exhibited towards her Royal Highness in the laughter which came from the Ministerial benches than there was in any observation which fell from his lips. He begged to repeat that he had the greatest possible respect for that illustrious lady, and acted solely from a sense of duty. With respect to the motion he last night made, he only wished to observe that many Gentlemen, who on the hustings professed themselves the advocates of reform and retrenchment, went out and voted with the Government upon it, and shrunk from the performance of that duty which many of them had promised they would on that occasion discharge. As the hon. Member for Bridport had said that night, "Their conduct would have been very different if a general election were near at hand." He had two other clauses he wished to have added to the Bill; but as he had not given notice of them he was afraid he could not move their adoption by the House without first having done so. Under these circumstances he should again take the sense of the House upon the amendment he last night submitted to it. The gallant Member moved "That it shall be lawful for her Majesty to give and grant, by letters patent, under the Great Seal of Great Britain, to her Royal Highness Maria Louisa, Victoria, Duchess of Kent, for the term of her natural life, for the adequate provision for her said Royal Highness, a certain annual payment or annuity of 22,000l. of lawful monies of Great Britain, in lieu of the proposed grant of 30,000l."

Mr. Harvey

hoped the hon. Gentleman would give notice of any further amendments he might have to propose to this Bill, and not allow his proposition to be received by the House with ridicule. He was one of those who thought there was no reason whatever for the haste and hurry which had been evinced in passing this Bill—and who considered that this 30,000l. ought not to be granted to the Duchess of Kent, under all circumstances. He trusted the hon. and gallant Gentleman would not, therefore, allow himself to be moved from his mild course.

Amendment withdrawn. Report received.