HC Deb 14 June 1843 vol 69 cc1527-46

House in committee on the Queen's Message.

Question again proposed, That an annuity of three thousand pounds be settled upon her Royal Highness the Princess Augusta Caroline, eldest daughter of his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, upon her marriage to his Royal Highness Frederick, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg Strelitz, the same to take effect from the decease of his said Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, and to be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland:


said, he had been induced on a former day, to move that the chairman report progress, in conformity to what he considered an excellent principle, that the House ought not to be called upon to vote monies for any purpose of which due notice had not been given. That was not the only objection he had to the proposal of the right hon. Baronet; he disapproved altogether of the proposed grant for many reasons, but he should confine himself to the statement of only a few of the number. In the first place, he begged that any observations which might fall from him might not be supposed to be intended to throw any reflection on the character of the parent of the Princess, for he was bound in candour and fairness to state that his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, in private life, so far as had come to his knowledge, and also in public life, deserved the approbation, and, compared to other branches of the Royal Family the high approbation of that House. In opposing this grant, he did not wish to reflect on the character of the noble Duke, but he meant to reflect on her Majesty's advisers, on the right hon. Baronet, and and those who had advised her Majesty on the present occasion to send down a message calling on the House for a grant of the public money. He did so, because he knew no principle by which they were called upon to maintain the children of royal dukes; he wished it to be understood clearly and distinctly that the royal dukes were placed in a situation in which they ought to provide for the maintenance of their own families, if they had families, from such allowances as Parliament should grant to them. To this view that House had given its sanction by its past conduct. When the princes arrived at that age which required a separate establishment, it was not only fit and proper, but absolutely necessary, that they should be placed in an independent situation, because, as peers of Parliament, having influence in the Legislature and the country, they ought to be placed beyond the reach of ministerial influence and control. It was on that ground that he approved of allowances being made on all such occasions to the children of the sovereign, in order that when grown up they might act as citizens and consult the interests of the country as they should see best, not being dependent on the minister of the day for subsistence, as they otherwise necessarily would be. This principle was laid down broadly in 1777, by Mr. Fox, who, on the 9th of May of that year, and on the question of the grant to the Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland, made use of these expressions: It had been always the policy of this country to make suitable provision for the different branches of the Royal Family, to render them independent of ministers, and bind them by interest and sentiment to preserve that constitution under which they enjoy such permanent and solid advantages. He agreed entirely in that opinion, which he thought conformable to wise policy. He had differed as to the amount of the provision proposed on some occasions of this kind, but that was not the question now. He hoped the House was not about to follow the bad precedents formerly set in granting allowances to persons connected with the royal family. Her Majesty, in her message to the House declared that the many proofs which the House of Commons had afforded of their affectionate attachment to her person, left her Majesty no doubt of their readiness to make a suitable provision for her Royal Highness on this occasion. He thought her Majesty might be perfectly satisfied, from the records of the journals of Parliament, that that House had always been very liberal, and he would say, highly profuse in many of these grants. If he approved of grants being made to the princes, it was for a specific object; but he did not approve of pensioning all the connections of the Royal Family, however distant they might be. Parliament had sanctioned the further step of allowing the princes additional sums on their marriage, for the expenses of any family that might arise from that marriage. When the Duke of Cambridge married, 6,000l. a-year was added to his allowance, to provide for the expenses that might arise from that marriage. It was true there was an exception in the case of the Duke of Cumberland. When a proposition was made to grant the same sum to that royal duke, the House of Commons rejected it. He would not say from what motive, but immediately afterwards the House came to the resolution that, though they would not entrust the Duke of Cumberland with 6,000l.., as as they had done his brother the Duke of Cambridge, they would grant 6,000l. to the Duchess of Cumberland, if ever she should require it, to be placed beyond the control of the Duke. He therefore held that they were bound to come to this conclusion, that the money granted to the princes of the Royal Family, ought to have reference to their position in the country, and to enable them to provide for the family. The principle had been laid down that public officers and the princes of the blood should be paid liberally, and he held that in both cases the parties were bound to provide for their own families, out of those allowances, and not throw them for support on the public. What were the limits to which these grants were to extend? There was the Princess Mary, the sister of the Princess Augusta, and Prince George, why should they not be included in the grant? Why were not their children and grand children to be provided for? It would be found that Parliament had only been called upon for a grant in cases where the parties stood in very near rela- tion to the succession to the Throne. Why should the children of the Duke of Cambridge be treated differently from those of the Duke of Sussex? He found, by the finance accounts of the year, that a payment was made to his Serene Highness the Prince of Mecklenburg Strelitz, a relative, he believed, of the young prince in question, who was in the receipt of a pension of 2,000l. a year. He asked, for what purpose had this been granted? There was no record of it in the debates of that House, for the grant was made in the Irish Parliament; but by the act 38 George 3rd, c. 69, the King was enabled to grant an annuity of 2,000l. a year, for the life of his Serene Highness, the Prince of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, nephew to the Queen. The act of the 38 Geo. 3rd, c. 69, was introduced into the Irish Parliament of 1798, and was intituled— An act to enable his Majesty to grant an annuity for the life of his Serene Highness the Prince of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, nephew to the Queen. The act recited that the Earl Camden, by desire of his Majesty, recommended the Parliament to enable them to grant a pension of 2,000l. sterling for the life of his Serene Highness the Prince of Strelitz, nephew to the Queen, and then it enacted that— s " His Majesty may settle 2,000l. on the said prince from the 25th of March, 1798, payable out of the Consolidated Fund. And by section 2, the act was not to restrain his Majesty from Making any other grant or pension, which he may lawfully do, under the provisions of the said act (33 Geo. 3rd), until the whole pension list shall be reduced to 80,000l. as the said act mentioned. He found that this was charged on the Consolidated Fund, although, in consequence of the increase of the pension list, in spite of all remonstrances, an act of 33 Geo. 3rd, had been passed, declaring that no more pensions should be granted in Ireland till the amount was reduced to 80,000l. a year, nor in England till they were reduced to a certain sum. Still this act was passed by the Irish Parliament, overruling an act of the British Parliament, being the first time, that he was aware, of an Irish act overruling an English act. Let them see, then, what had been the cost of this grant. The act granted 2,000l. a year to his Serene High- ness, and it had been received for a period of forty-five years. He had ascertained, what had been the expense to the country between that time and this. In 1798, we were in debt about 400,000,000l.; every 2,000l., therefore, which had been paid to the Duke of Mecklenburgh had been borrowed, and it had been borrowed at the rate of 5l. per cent; so that from that period to the present, computing the compound interest, the cost to the country has been 335,000l. That was the way in which the taxation of the country was increased, and the country itself sacrificed. It was for Ministers to consider whether such circumstances did not render the royal family more obnoxious to the country than anything else. What would be said now if any one rose in the House and proposed a grant of 335,000l. to the nephew of Queen Charlotte, or to the nephew of any one else. The grant had lasted many years, and it might last many years more, and might be increased by some 50,000l. or 60,000l.; yet the House was now called upon to grant to the daughter of the Duke of Cambridge another 3,000l. a-year. The father might live long, or he might not. The princess was not to succeed to this grant till the death of her father, but judging from the long life of the family, she might live to enjoy the grant for forty-five years. Every shilling which she received must be borrowed, and if the interest were calculated at 5 per cent the vote which the House was about to give her was upwards of 500,000l. The hon. Baronet on the Treasury benches, who was pleased to be very facetious, seemed to doubt that statement; but if the House would agree to his motion, he (Mr. Hume) would call upon Mr. Finlay-son, the actuary, to make the calculation. Were they prepared to make a grant of 500,000l. on such slender grounds as were then before them? He said that no man, in the circumstances of the country, and in the circumstances in which the lady herself was placed, should consent to such a charge. Even if they intended to be extravagant, they should recollect that they had not the means to provide for it, and a grant would be a violation of the care which the House, as keepers of the public purse, ought to take of the expenditure of the country. He was confident, that if her Majesty knew the condition of the country, she would not have sanctioned such an application as this. The Ministers, therefore, were to blame for it. He had undertaken what was an unpleasant duty; but it must be done. [Oh, oh!] If he met with unfair interruption, he would move that the chairman report progress. He saw the men who were making the interruption, and he would name them. [Name, name.'] There might be a new class grown up in that House called " young England," which was not known only by the white neck cloths and the white waist coats, but by other marks which might be pointed out. He said, in all fairness, that even if he were running counter to the opinions of young England, or any other person, he ought to have a full hearing. He could not make this motion without looking back at the Speech of her Majesty at the commencement of the Session, in which she alluded to the distress of the manufactures, and the decline of revenue, as consequences of existing distress; and he said further, that, after the speech of the right hon. Baronet the night before last, on the question of the coal duties, in which he said that such was the state, of the finances of the country that he could not even spare 80,000l., they ought not to accede to this grant. If he took the Duke of Cumberland's pension, which ought to be withdrawn, and if he added up a few items which might be saved, he could point out how the 80,000l. could be saved, but the chance of that saving ought not to be diminished. On a similar occasion, when a grant to provide additional annuities for the younger branches of the royal family was proposed, and the act of 46 Geo. 3rd was passed, it was seriously opposed. A royal message was brought to this effect:— His Majesty having, by his message of the 8th day of April, 1778, recommended to his faithful Commons to make competent provision for the honourable support and maintenance of the younger branches of the royal family, and in consequence thereof, an act having passed charging certain annuities, for such purpose, upon the aggregate fund of Great Britain; but no provision having afterwards been made in the act by which the several revenues composing the said aggregate fund were transferred to the consolidated fund of Great Britain, for securing the said annuities, by reason whereof the provision so recommended by his Majesty, and carried into effect by act of Parliament, has failed and become ineffectual; his Majesty recommends to the House of Commons to consider of such measures as may be necessary for securing the said annuities upon (he consolidated fund, and his Majesty cannot forbear taking this occasion to express his desire that his faithful Commons will take into consideration the propriety of such increase of the said allowances as the change of circumstances that has since taken place shall appear to have rendered just and reasonable, and that they will make such further provision, in consequence thereof, as the nature of the case shall be found to require. During the discussion on that bill, on July 9, 1806, some observations were made by an hon. Member, which were extremely apposite to the present question. The hon. Member said, That such a proposition should have been submitted to Parliament, under the present circumstances of the country, and particularly by the noble Lord, so distinguished for the profession of economy, was to him, he confessed, no less a matter of regret than of astonishment. The House in general, indeed, must have been taken by surprise in this proceeding; for nothing had, he ventured to say, ever been brought before Parliament in a similar manner. And after a few other observations, the hon. Gentleman went on to say:— If the Lords and Commons were, alone, called upon for a contribution of this nature, he would most cheerfully assent to it; but, feeling for the people, who were already so borne down, he could not consent to increase their burdens, particularly upon such grounds as were stated by the noble Mover of this bill. If ever there were observations more applicable to this case than others, they were those made by the hon. Member who was now a firm supporter of her Majesty's Government. These were the remarks made on that occasion, by Colonel Wood, the present Member for Brecon. Were hon. Gentlemen prepared to put their hands in their pockets and pay this 3,000l?. It was easy to deal with other people's money, but if in the circumstances of the country in 1806 they were required to use due caution and care, what ought they to do now? What was now the position of the people and of the finances of the country? Were they flourishing? Besides, this question of the pension list had long occupied the attention of that House. There were probably few now in the House who were aware of the exertions made by hon. Members, principally on that (the Opposition) side of the House, to reduce its amount. It was to the credit of the right hon. Baronet now at the head of the Home Department (Sir James Graham) that he had come forward in 1834, and had limited the amount, and had placed it on intelligible principles' The late Mr. Banks had procured an act to be passed, allowing the Crown to grant pensions for public services, and that act continued till 1834, when he (Mr. Hume) and others found that men possessing 10,000l. a-year received 2,000l. a-year additional from the public funds. The right hon. Baronet brought in a bill to reduce the number of official pensions one-half, and in order to avoid the possibility of the recurrence of like complaints, the House had introduced clauses in the act of Parliament, providing not only that the pensions should be granted for the public services of the individual but also on account of the inadequacy of his private fortune; and each person applying for a pension was obliged to make a statement in writing of his income. The 4th and 5th of Will. 4th, cap. 24, passed 25th of July, 1834, instituted, An act to alter, amend, and consolidate the laws for regulating the pensions, compensation, and allowances to be made to persons in respect of their having held civil offices in his Majesty's service; enacted by section 6, and whereas, the principle of the regulations for granting allowances of this nature is, and ought to be, founded on a consideration, not only of the services performed by the individual to the state, but of the inadequacy of his private fortune to maintain his station in life: be it therefore enacted, that whenever any person shall seek to obtain any such pension, shall make, in writing, a statement of services, and a declaration that the amount of his income from other sources is so limited as to bring him within the intent of this act When this grant, then, was proposed for the children of the Duke of Cam-bridge, he said that it behoved the House to apply a similar rule. That illustrious Duke had received a large allowance for many years; for eighteen or nineteen years he bad been viceroy of Hanover, having an ample income there to keep up his state, and during that time his English income, exceeding 20,000l. a year, ought to have accumulated; and he believed it had. He said, therefore, that the principle of the clauses to which he had referred warranted the House in withholding this grant till they should have a declaration from the Duke of Cambridge that he was not able to maintain his own family. How were they now situated? The parent wag amply provided for. He had on his marriage received 6,000l. a year in addition to his 21,000l.; he had also received his military allowance, and he said that after this the Duke of Cambridge ought to be in a condition to maintain his children, and that if he were not, the people of England ought not to be called upon to maintain them. The case was not within the words of the statute, but to the spirit of that enactment he (Mr. Hume) directed the attention of the House. He said, they were bound to support that principle. The amount might be considered trifling; half a million was a trifling sum to many persons, but they should look to the principle. They had laid down the principle that those who were supported by the public money should provide for their family, and they ought to adhere to it. And here he might refer to an observation made the other night by the hon. and gallant Member for Liverpool (Sir H. Douglas) that the property of the Crown had been given up to the public. He wished the gallant Member had all the allowances which had been given up. If the Royal Family had nothing else to look to, " maugre and deep" would be the proceedings at Buckingham Palace. If her Majesty had to maintain the forces and the other payments out of the hereditary revenues, there would be very little remaining for her. No weight could be placed on that argument. It had been scouted when it was first brought forward, but as many Gentlemen still seemed to consider it an answer, he must say that there never was a case in which a more complete mistake had been made. He for one was unwilling to disturb the bargain made with the Sovereign, but it was for the House to make the best of it; and they ought to manage the revenue so as to give the greatest relief to the country. It might be invidious to notice the sacrifice made by this country for royalty, but he must observe, that the payments made to the Royal Family exceeded 700,000l. a year, exclusive of the expense of palaces and parks, and the trappings of royalty. He might, if he were disposed, magnify the amount, but it was sufficient for him to know that they had a sum of 700,000l. a year and upwards paid to her Majesty and her connections; and then to find that a further demand was made upon the country at a time when the expenses ex- ceeded the income, and when of course the country was in a state of bankruptcy. If the House would only do what the committee on the Civil List had proposed, and make a reduction in the payments under the Civil List, every one of the family of the Duke of Cambridge might be provided for. In the published, report, he found the following statement of payments to the Queen and Royal Family in the year ended January, 5, 1843;—

Privy purse £60,000
Salaries to the household, &c. 131,260
Tradesmen's bills 172,500
Bounty, alms, &c 13,200
Unappropriated moneys 8,040
Duke of Cumberland 21,000
Duke of Sussex 21,000
Duke of Cambridge 27,000
Duchess of Gloucester 16,000
Princess Sophia 16,000
Princess Sophia of Gloucester 7,000
Queen Adelaide 100,000
Duchess of Kent 30,000
Prince Albert 30,000
King Leopold, part of which is returned 50,000

N. B. The expense for Windsor, and other royal palaces and parks was to be added to this sum.

He was bound, however, to say, that King Leopold did not receive his 50,000l. a year. He did not receive one farthing of it, and he was anxious to make this remark, because a contrary impression existed, and he had during the last week seen a comparison of the king of Belgium with others; by returns made on his (Mr. Hume's) motion, there could be no mistake, and the remark could only have been made for the purpose of maligning that illustrious prince. In every year, up to the year 1840, the returns showed that 35,000l. a year out of the 50,000l., had been repaid; the remainder had been spent in keeping up Claremont, and in wages to servants, and not one shilling had gone into the pockets of the King. The committee of the Civil List had recommended many reductions, amounting altogether to 12,000l. a year. He was sorry to say, that the House when it passed that bill, and the Government of the day, thought fit to grant the full sura without making these reductions; it was one of the mistakes of the Ministry which he then supported, and he did not fail to remind them of it. Supposing, however, the parent was not able to maintain the Princess, provision might easily be made for her out of the savings that could be effected in the expenditure of the 385,000l. granted for the Civil List. He told the right hon. Baronet he would not be acting consistently with his sense of duty, and he believed the right hon. Baronet was anxious to do right, if he persisted in this grant, when the amount might so easily be saved by reductions elsewhere. There were eighteen Lords and grooms in waiting; why not reduce them to twelve? He was afraid that some of them were present. Again, the ladies and maids of honour numbered twenty-four; some might be put aside; and by these and other changes, 30,000l. a year might be easily saved. No statement had been made that it was not intended to pension the Princess Mary and Prince George of Cambridge. To what degree were they to descend— children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren, if there were any such—did they mean to provide for all of them? The House ought to know that, out of 385,000l. appropriated to the Civil List, there were but 175,000l. spent in tradesmen's bills. The salaries alone were 130,000l. a year; the Civil List committee had recommended a reduction of 12,000l. a year in these, and the House of Commons, on behalf of the people, ought to insist that every means should be taken to reduce this expenditure, and that no further grant should be made at the present moment. He found that the amendment he had intended to move did not fully express his meaning, and was not sufficiently intelligible, and he had therefore drawn it up in a different shape. He meant to cast all possible reflection upon the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel) for introducing such a motion at such a time. He was the paid doctor— the responsible adviser of the Crown, and he must excuse him (Mr. Hume) if he laid the whole blame at his door. The hon. Member concluded by moving as an amendment, to leave out from the word " That" to the end of the question, in order to add the words— The ample allowance from the public revenue which has been so long enjoyed by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, should have enabled him to make provision for his children; and that it is neither wise nor just, especially in the present distressed state of the country, and deplorable destitution of the labouring classes, to propose any grant for a dowery to the Princess Augusta Caroline of Cambridge.

The question having been put on the amendment,

Mr. Liddell

amidst general cries for a division, complained of the invidious nature of the amendment, and of the invidious speech by which it had been introduced, though both were to be expected from the quarter from whence they had proceeded. He had risen to answer the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose, because it seemed to him to require an answer. [Cries of " Divide."] If the House would not listen to that answer he could not help it, but he would protest against the amendment and against the language of the mover of it. [Cries of "Divide."]

Sir R. H. Inglis

expressed his regret at detaining Members from a more agreeable occupation than that of listening to him. The House had exhibited some signs of impatience while the hon. Member was speaking; and the hon. Member must not consider him (Sir R. Inglis) uncourteous, if he said that he wished his voice had not been heard at all. He could not hear the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose, even if he had not personally referred to himself, without being desirous to state his views on this case. The hon. Member asked on what pretence the House was called upon to provide for Members of the Royal family? In the first place, he would inform the hon. Gentleman, that the return for which he had moved would give him an answer. In the year 1761, the hereditary revenues of the Crown were exchanged for a fixed annual sum. On a calculation of the receipts of seventy-seven years from the date of the bargain, renewed as it had been subsequently, it appeared that the nation received from the hereditary revenues and from taxes which were appropriated to the Sovereign, 117,000,000l.; whereas, the allowances to the Royal family, including certain grants to make up the deficiency on the Civil List, amounted to 69,000,000l.; so that, in point of fact, the Sovereign lost and the nation gained 47,000,000l. The Sovereign lost 616,000l. per annum during seventy-seven years. On the ground, then, that by this bargain the Crown lost certain allowances which would otherwise have been made, he thought any application made by the Crown (he need scarcely say within reasonable bounds), should be entertained with the fullest and most cheerful feeling by that House, when called upon to contribute for the maintenance of the Royal family. The hon. Member for Montrose was wrong in logic, in his history, and in his arithmetic—yes, even in his arithmetic. The hon. Gentleman stated that the value of the annuity proposed to be granted to Her Royal Highness the Princess Augusta of Cambridge, according to the ordinary calculations of the duration of human life, would be half a million of money. He should have thought that the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friend who held the same doctrine, must have known from any actuary that this was not the case. Let the question be put to the commonest practitioner as an actuary —not one standing so high as Mr. Finlay-son—" Given the age of the young lady, twenty-two, what is the value of an annuity of 3,000l., contingent upon the survivorship, in the case of a prince of seventy-two years of age?" [Mr. Hume: But you borrow the principal.] The hon. Gentleman had no more right to assume that fact, than he had" to deny it. If the value of the annuity was one-tenth part of what the hon. Gentleman had stated, he would undertake to supply the difference.

Mr. F. Baring

said, the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last was not altogether right, for though it would appear in that return moved for by him that the Crown had lost so much by the bargain, yet there was on the other side to be taken in account many expenses formerly defrayed by the Crown, and which now fell on the country, and which would materially diminish that loss; but he agreed with the hon. Gentleman that, after the Crown had given up its hereditary revenues, and the means which it formerly possessed of providing for the Royal Family, in order to make itself entirely dependent upon the people, the House was bound always to | meet a proposition of this kind in a liberal spirit, His hon. Friend the Member for Montrose had stated that the last Civil List committee had made certain recommendations which were never adopted by the Government. His hon. Friend was J entirely mistaken. Those reductions had taken place in the salaries of the officers, and the whole of the recommendations of that committee were adopted. The hon. Gentleman had confounded the case of the late civil list committee with that of William 4th. Those recommendations were not then adopted by the Government, because it was with his Majesty a matter of personal honour, his Majesty feeling that he had pledged himself to his officers that their salaries should continue, and to enable him to keep that pledge his Majesty sacrificed a large sum which it was proposed to add yearly to the means of enlarging the royal bounty, preferring to maintain his own views of personal honour to putting any additional sum into his pocket. But in relation to this vote itself, was it or not beyond the line of grants that were hitherto usual? He maintained that it was not. There were cases of parties in a similar relationship to the Crown who had received similar grants. Was it unreasonable? It appeared to him that the grunt of 3,000l. a-year to the grand-daughter of a Sovereign of these realms, upon her marriage, was a moderate and reasonable grant. There was only one point on which he looked for some explanation from the opposite side. The right hon. Gentleman had very properly proposed that the grant should not come into operation so long as his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge was alive. But there was another person who was receiving a pension from this country, the Duke of Mecklenburgh, Strelitz, who received a pension of 2,000l. a-year, and he should like to know whether the same principle was to be directed towards him as towards the Duke of Cambridge, viz., that this new grant should be suspended till his pension also ceased to be a burthen on the funds of the country.

Colonel Wood

should not have spoken but for the personal allusion made to himself by the hon. Member for Montrose, who in that respect was unhappily wrong again, inasmuch as he was not in Parliament at the time, and never made the speech which the hon. Member attributed to him. It was not till 1807, that he entered Parliament, and the speech was made by Colonel Mark Wood. He would add that the cheerful assent of the House to this grant was the only means it had of expressing its grateful sense of the conduct and example of the Duke of Cambridge, more especially for the manner in which he contributed to and presided at the meetings of the charities of this country.

Mr. G, H

. Ward, being interrupted by cries of " divide," and " question," when be rose, expressed his hope that these obstreperous Gentlemen would not compel bin to move, that the Chairman report progress. Was it too much that one of the representatives of the people should state his opinion when a claim was made upon the public purse? The hon. and gallant Member for Brecon had rested his approbation of the vote upon the number of charities to which the Duke of Cambridge subscribed; but he would ask whether that ground had been allowed to avail the late Duke of Sussex, than whom no man was more generous and kind-hearted? The arrangement between the Crown and the people in the opening of the reign of George 3rd, had been referred to, but the truth was, that the Crown had then obtained a most excellent bargain, considering the burthens it was formerly called upon to sustain. There was not a Member in the House, who would not be ready in all possible ways to consult the comfort, and even the splendour of the different branches of the Royal Family, but it ought not to be forgotten, that the Duke of Cambridge bad long held the profitable office of Viceroy of Hanover, and that from his own purse he must be as well able to provide for his daughter in marriage as well as any gentleman or nobleman of the land. Looking then at the state of our finances, and at the miserably destitute condition of the lower Orders, be put it to the House whether it was fit thus to add to the ornaments, and what be might call, the tinselly part of the trappings of royalty.

Sir R, Peel.

I stated to the House on a former occasion, and I beg now to repeat, peat it was the earnest wish of the Government, for the sake of the public interest, and for the sake of the royal family, to make no proposition with respect to a provision for the Princess Augusta but what should be not merely in conformity with precedent, but which should be ratified by the good sense and general conviction of this House; it was our desire to make that provision which, by the prevailing opinion of the House, should be considered a reasonable and just provision. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Montrose, has referred to the position of the Duke of Cambridge, and said, that he ought, like any other nobleman, to make provision for his children on their marriage, I must beg him to recollect that his Royal Highness is a Member of the royal family, having an English dukedom fixed in his family, and having merely an annuity to depend on for the maintenance of that dignity; there is, therefore, in that respect, a material difference between the position of his Royal Highness, and those who have permanent sources of income to support the rank they hold in the country. No doubt the amount received by his Royal Highness is large, but are hon. Gentlemen aware of the demands upon it? I am satisfied, if they bear in mind, what it is greatly for the public advantage should be the case—if they bear in mind the generous devotion of the time of the royal family to the promotion of public objects, and the demands which are made on those funds which the liberality of Parliament has given them for the promotion of charitable objects, they will readily believe, that although nominally the amount of their income is large, it is subject to very great deductions, that is a marked distinction between the case of a ' royal Duke, with a dukedom transmitted to his family, and that of others in a position of society nearly corresponding, but not so exalted, who have the good fortune to possess permanent means not only of supporting their rank, but also of providing for their families. It is a most. important consideration, whether we are extending in this case the principle which has heretofore been acted upon. More than one hon. Gentleman has asked—" Is this the principle which you mean to extend to all the branches of the royal family? The royal family has numerous connexions, and do you mean by this precedent to establish a rule to be applied to all the connexions of the royal family? My answer to that question is this—we are now providing for the case of a royal princess, who is the granddaughter of one Sovereign, the niece of two, and first, cousin of the reigning Sovereign, and we propose for her an annuity of 3,000l., to take effect on the death of her father, the Duke of Cambridge. The case, therefore, is really a peculiar one, so far as connexion with the royal family is concerned; and I beg the House to bear in mind, that I propose, that the annual provision of 3,000l. should be for the life of her Royal Highness, and that the bill will not include any provision by which it shall be continued to her descendants. I think, therefore, it is quite clear that in this case the rule is not carried in | the slightest degree beyond the principle which I believe has been-applied in former cases, and that you are not therefore establishing any new precedent which can 'by possibility be applied to remoter connexions of the Sovereign. The very fact, that the provision is made for the life of the Princess Augusta is strong proof, that there is no intention to establish such a precedent. Sir, although I feel that the House will not ask me to enter into minute del ails, this is a case on which the Government were bound to take into consideration both the position of the Sovereign, and the peculiar circumstances of the royal family. The Government have thought themselves entitled to take these matters into consideration, they have made such inquiries as they felt bound to make, and after those inquiries they have come to the conclusion, that this provision is not more than is required, and it is one which appears to them just and moderate in itself. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Montrose, began his speech, by saying,— I will refer to preceding precedents, and I will ask whether you have any authority from these preceding precedents to make this grant? I was very glad to hear the hon. Gentleman make that appeal, for if he does attach weight to precedent he will be bound to give his vote in favour of my motion. I will first take the princesses of the royal family, daughters of George 3rd, the Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Sophia; in each of those cases the provision was 16,000l. per annum; and in the case of a princess more remotely allied to that Sovereign than the Princess Augusta, Princess Sophia of Gloucester, the provision was 7,000l. In this instance the provision is only 3,000l. With respect to the pension of 2,000l. enjoyed by the Duke of Mecklenburgh, I believe it was granted to him in consequence of events arising out of the French Revolution, when he was compelled to quit his own territories, and if the position of that family had been such as to dispense with the necessity of the provision, I should have thought it my duty to take it into consideration on the present occasion; but after the inquiries we instituted on that head, I must say I did not consider the position of that family such as to dispense with the allowance. Mr. Fox, in the speech to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, founded his vote in favour of provision for the royal family on high constitutional ground; he said,— It was always the policy of the country to j make suitable provision for the different branches of the royal family; it rendered them independent of Ministers, and bound them by interest and sentiment to appreciate the ' constitution under which they enjoyed such permanent and solid advantages. On the other hand, the royal family, in narrow and dependent circumstances, were compelled to look up to the Throne for protection and support, and from the nature of that support, they were liable to become instruments of the Crown in forging chains for the people. I hope the House will bear in mind the position of the law at the present moment compared with that of former Sovereigns, with reference to the means of providing for members of the Royal Family. It may have been perfectly right to place restrictions on the Crown, with respect to the granting of pensions, but when you judge of the reasonableness of this provision, it is not right that you should exclude altogether a contrast between the limited power of the Crown now, and that which preceding Sovereigns possessed. I am not impeaching the policy which restricted the power of the Crown, but that very restriction may make it necessary for the Crown to apply to Parliament in cases where, had the power previously possessed still existed, no such application would have been made. Up to a very recent period, there was a very large pension list voted both in this country and in Ireland. In this country it amounted at one lime to 140,000l. per annum, and the provision of law was that in case pensions fell in, the Crown had the power of granting new pensions, provided they did not exceed 90,000l. a-year. The Crown, therefore, had previously the power of granting pensions—in case pensions formerly granted fell in—to the extent of at least between 4,000 and 5,000l.. per annum. So with respect to Ireland; there the pension-list amounted to a very considerable sum, and the same power existed of keeping up the pension list to a certain amount. The Crown, then, had the power of granting pensions at its discretion to an amount not less than between 6,000l. and 7,000l. a-year. But Parliament interfered, Parliament imposed restrictions on- the Crown, and the whole power the Crown now possesses is to grant annually 1,200l. Even over that sum the Crown has not absolute discretion; it must be appropriated to the reward of either personal service to the Crown, public service rendered to the country, or eminent literary or scientific merit. I believe that the Crown in the case of every pension granted out of that limited sum of 1,200l. has most faithfully, not literally and technically, but in the true spirit and intention of Parliament adhered to the obligations imposed by the Legislature. The whole sum—I repeat it —over which the Crown has any control is 1,200l., which is solely applicable to the reward of public service and the encouragement of literary exertion. Under all these circumstances, therefore, the Crown having parted with its hereditary revenues, and not having the power it formerly had of making permanent provision for the members of the Royal Family out of those revenues, I cannot think that the House will be reluctant to affirm the proposal I have made. Whatever is an act of favour properly belongs to the Crown, whatever is objectionable ought to devolve upon the Minister, and I venture to assert, if I had informed her Majesty that the value of this annuity, granted to the Princess Augusta was 500,000l., I am perfectly certain her Majesty would have rejected the proposition. Even if I had supported myself on the great arithmetical authority of the hon. Member for Montrose, I doubt whether her Majesty would have credited it. And if any rumours should reach to a certain quarter that this annuity of 3,000l. is equivalent to a grant of 500,000l., I should be obliged to correct the erroneous impression which the authority of the hon. Gentleman might create, by stating that he had only multiplied by 15 the real value of the sum. I shall not quarrel with the hon. Gentleman who has, with his accustomed good humour used expressions with regard to me which, although somewhat harsh, it is the duty of a Minister to bear as part of his public duty, and with what equanimity he can. I shall leave the vote to the decision of the House, earnestly hoping (without entering into the details to which I am sure the House will not invite me) that I have proved that her Majesty's Government have not made this proposition without those inquiries which it was their duty to make—that considering the peculiar posi tion of her Royal Highness, and her close connection with the Throne, we are not establishing an inconvenient precedent— and, although the circumstances of the country are such as to make hon. Members jealous of any grant not consistent with moderation and reason, yet I trust the most jealous of the interests of their constituents may grant to the Princess Augusta, dependent on the death of her father, an annual provision of 3,000l.

The House divided on the question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 223; Noes 57: Majority 166.

List of the AYES.
Ackers, J. Codrington, Sir W.
Acland, Sir T. D. Colborne, hn. W.N.R.
Acton, Col. Compton, H. C.
Adare, Visct. Connolly, Col.
Adderley, C. B. Corry, right hon. H.
Allix, J. P. Courtenay, Lord
Antrobus, E. Cowper, hon, W. F.
Archdall, Capt. M. Cresswell, B.
Arkwright, G. Cripps, W.
Ashley, Lord Damer, hon. Col
Baillie, J. jun. Darby, G.
Baillie, Col. Denison, E. B.
Baillie, H. J. Dickinson, F.H.
Bankes, G. Disraeli, B.
Baring, hon. W. B. Douglas, Sir H.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Barneby, J. Douro, Marquess of
Barrington, Visct. Drummond, H. H.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Duffield, T.
Beckett, W. Duncombe, hon. A.
Bell, M. Dungannon, Visct.
Bernard, Visct. Du Pre, C. G.
Boldero, H. G. East, J. B.
Borthwick, P. Eaton, R. J.
Botfield, B. Egerton, W. T.
Bradshaw, J. Egerton, Sir P.
Broadley, H. Eliot, Lord
Broadwood, H. Escott, B.
Brownrigg, J.S. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bruce, Lord E. Farnham, E. B.
Buck, L. W. Fellowes, E.
Buckley, E. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bunbury, T. Flower, Sir J.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Follett, Sir W. W.
Burroughes, H. N. Forester, hn G.C.W,
Cardwell, E. Fuller, A. E.
Carew, hon. R. S. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Cartwright, W. R. Gladstone,rt.hn.W.E.
Cavendish, hn. C. C. Gladstone, Capt.
Charteris, hon. F. Godson, R.
Chelsea, Visct. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Chetwode, Sir J. Gore, M.
Christopher, R.A. Gore, W. O.
Chute, W. L. W. Gore, W. R. O.
Clayton, R. R. Gore, hon. R.
Clerk, Sir G. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Clive, hon. R. H. Granby, Marquess of
Greenall, P. Paget, Col.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Paget, Lord
Grimston, Visct. Pakington, J. S.
Halford, H. Palmerston, Visct,
Halyburton,Lord J.F. Patten, J. W.
Hamilton, O. A. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hamilton, W. J. Pennant, hon. Col.
Hamilton, Lord C. Pigot, Sir R.
Hamner, Sir J. Plumptre, J. P.
Harcourt, G. G. Polhill, F.
Hardinge,rt.hn. Sir H Pollock, Sir F.
Hardy, J. Pringle, A.
Heneage, G. H. W. Rashleigh, W.
Henley, J. W. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Round, J.
Herbert, hon. S. Rushbrooke, Col.
Hervey, Lord A, Russell, Lord J.
Hodgson, F. Russell, C.
Hope, A. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Hope, G. W. Sandon, Visct.
Howard, Lord Scarlett, lion. R. C.
Hughes, W. B. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Hussey, A. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Hussey, T. Sheppard, I'.
Ingestrie, Visct. Shirley, E. J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Smith, A.
Jermyn, Earl Smith, rt. hit. T. B.C.
Jocelyn, Visct. Smyth, Sir H.
Johnstone, Sir I. Smollett, A.
Joliffe, Sir W. G. Somerset, Lord G.
Kelburne, Visct. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Kelly, F. R. Stanley, Lord
Knatchbull,rt.hn.SirE Stanley, E.
Knight, H. G. Stewart, J.
Knight, F. W. Stuart, W. V.
Lambton, H. Stuart, H.
Legh, G. D. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Taylor, T. E.
Lincoln, Earl of Thesiger, F.
Listowel, Earl of Tollemache, J.
Lockhart, W. Towneley, J.
Lowther, J. H. Trench, Sir F. W.
Lowther, hon. Col. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Trollope, Sir J.
Mackenzie, T. Tumor, C.
Mackenzie, W. F. Vane, Lord H.
Mackinnon, W. A. Verner, Col.
Maclean, D. Vernon, G. H.
MaGeachy, F. A. Vesey, hon. T.
Manners, Lord J. Vivian, J. E.
Marsham, Visct. Waddington, H. S.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Wall, C. B,
Meynell, Capt. Welby, G. E.
Miles, W. Wemyss, Capt.
Mitchell, T. A. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Wood, Col.
Morgan, O. Wood, Col. T.
Mundy, E. M. Worsley, Lord
Murray, C. It. S. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Newport, Visct. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Wynn, rt. hn.C.W.W.
Northland, Visct. Young, J.
O'Brien, A. S. TELLERS.
Owen, Sir J. Fremantle, Sir T.
Packe, C, W. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Aldam, W,
Barnard, E. O. Marsland, H.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Martin, J.
Berkeley, hon. C. Mitcalfe,
Blewitt, R. J. Morris, D.
Bowes, J. Muntz, G. F.
Bowring, Dr. Murphy, F. S.
Brocklehurst, J. Ogle, S. C. H.
Busfeild, W. Phillpotts, J.
Cobden, R. Plumridge, Capt.
Collett, J. Pulsford, R.
Corbally, M. E. Redington, T. N.
Crawford, W. S. Roche, Sir D.
Dennistoun, J. Roebuck, J. A.
Duke, Sir J. Scholefield, J.
Duncan, O. Scott, R.
Duncombe, T. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Dundas, Adm. Strickland, Sir G.
Ellice, E. Strutt, E.
Evans, W. Tancred, H. W.
Ewart, W. Thornely, T.
Fielden, J. Trelawney, J. S.
Ferguson, Col. Villiers, hon. C.
Forster, M. Wakley, T.
Gill, T. Wawn, J. T.
Heathcote, J. Williams, W.
Hutt, W. Wood, B.
Langton, J. El. TELLERS.
Leader, J. 'I'. Hume, J.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Ward, J.

Main question agreed to.

Resolution to be reported.

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